Macarthur hockey players have 600,000 reasons to smile this week.
The state government has announced the Macarthur Regional Hockey Complex at Narellan will receive $600,000 worth of upgrades to improve the quality of its playing fields.
The Narellan complex is home to more than 1300 Metropolitan South West (MSW) Hockey Association players.
Association president Wayne Southwell said the funding would be spent on upgrading one of the hockey fields.
“We have three fields in Narellan, two are water based and the other is sand based,” he said.
“We are upgrading the sand-based field to become water based because the games are quicker and more skillful on water.
“We’re stoked with the funding. It will provide a significant boost for us.”
Southwell said the upgrade would also improve player safety on the third field.
“The sand base is like sandpaper so it can hurt when players fall,” he said.
“The water base is much kinder on the body and the upgrade will encourage players to slide for the ball more.”
We’re stoked with the funding, it will provide a significant boost for us.Metropolitan South West Hockey Association president Wayne Southwell
The Narellan field upgrade was included as part of the state government’s $1.2 million funding announcement for hockey fields in greater Sydney.
The Western Sydney Hockey Centre at Kingswood will also receive $600,000 worth of funding.
Southwell said the MSW Hockey Association would lead the upgrade project at Narellan with support from Camden Council.
“We will start works after our season finishes and it will be completed by the end of the year in time for next season,” he said.
Southwell said he hoped the upgrade would attract more Macarthur people to play hockey in the coming years.
“We are a fairly progressive association and what we’ve been doing has been noticed by our governing body Hockey NSW,” he said.
“With the [residential] growth coming into the Camden area, we want to grab a fair share of that and boost our member numbers.”
Camden MP Chris Patterson said the funding boost would allow Narellan to be home to some of Australia’s best hockey facilities.
“We’ll be able to host local, regional, state and national competitions as well as other community sports events to boost the local economy,” he said.