Hockey bodies join forces
LONG time Rockhampton hockey volunteer Val Domotor is experiencing a mix of sadness and optimism.
The decision to combine the Rockhampton Junior Hockey Association under the Rockhampton Hockey Association banner next year marks the end of an era for the previously separate junior body.
A final move was agreed to at the RJHA's annual general meeting on Monday night.
RJHA was formed in 1982 with junior players previously playing in the Rockhampton Primary Schools competition, a body which was first formed in the late 1940s.
The association's sole junior identity might be on the way out, but the passion for junior hockey remains strong ? and the memories remain strong.
Domotor has a lifetime of junior hockey memories, as a player, a parent, a coach and a volunteer, but one particular moment stands out in the 60-year-old's mind.
It was in 1984 when minkey hockey was introduced to Kalka Shades.
Domotor remembers a Hockey Queensland official was walking around watching the games and one four-year-old, called Jamie Dwyer, immediately caught his eye saying that one day he could play for Australia.
"You can't just walk away when you're part of a family,'' Domotor said.
"Corners are made for turning.''
Domotor, Marie Sweeney and Marj Brown are all life members of the RJHA and all plan on keeping involved in hockey, at some level.
Sweeney, who started playing hockey as a 16-year-old and has not left since, said she had gotten over being sad.
"At first I was a bit concerned it wouldn't work and worried about the children being looked after,'' Sweeney said.
"Everyone will have to do their best and give and take a bit.''
The RJHA last season hosted 35 junior teams from Frenchville Rovers, CQU Wanderers, Park Avenue Brothers and Southside United clubs ? these young players will now follow in the same footsteps as the senior players in the corresponding clubs.
Brown, who has never played hockey herself but has always been a valuable volunteer, said the juniors had been "an inspiration'' to her.
A steering committee, of four representatives from each association, will meet over the next 12 months to assist the changeover process and the RHA already has a junior sub-commitee.
The 2006 season is expected to start in early April.