Hockey in Gawler is set to get a much needed face lift after Trinity College received a successful grant to construct a synthetic pitch.
The College, together with Gawler Strikers and the Trinity Old Scholars Hockey Club, received an $800,000 grant to install a new synthetic multi-purpose hockey and tennis surface at Trinity College Gawler.
The associated parties will be looking to complete the project by 2019, and Strikers vice president Derek Cruickshank said there is a “huge buzz” around his club.
“For us it’s a great opportunity to grow the great sport of hockey against some strong opposition from other codes going forward,” he said.
The exact location of the single synthetic pitch is yet to be decided, but Trinity College Hockey Co-ordinator Justin Simmonds confirmed it would be part of the College’s sporting precinct along Adelaide Road.
“It will be used as a multi-purpose facility, which means that it will also be used for a lot of PE lessons, and classes here (at Trinity) will be able to access it.”
“So it will be used a lot of extensively during its life, particularly during the daytime, midweek than most hockey pitches are, which I think means it’s going to be a very well utilised facility.”
He added the advantages of the proposed upgrade are many and varying.
“It’s going to be a huge benefit for our families who are currently traveling large distances to get to training (at Stockwell) and to get to games,” Mr Simmonds said.
“It’s going to make a massive difference on the quality of play and the development that players are going to get because they’re going to be able to be learning from a young age how to play on an artificial surface, as opposed to on grass.”
Mr Cruickshank said too often Gawler teams lose players to Adelaide-based sides and he’s hoping the new surface will change that.
“… To be able to train here locally midweek, rather than on a Monday night, is a massive bonus for us,” he said.
Mr Simmonds said the associated parties have had strong support from the Barossa Valley Hockey Association.
“What we’re looking at now is having two venues now that can provide artificial surface – it’s going to be a huge benefit for the association, not just our two clubs,” he said.
The project, which has been in the works for the past five years, will now go into the planning stage. Meanwhile, Gawler Central will use the $251,500 grant to upgrade the Gawler Oval Precinct courts, and Gawler Council will use $75,000 to resurface the main stadium floor at the Gawler Sport and Community Centre.