Knowles nurtures venue?s upgrade



ROCKHAMPTON hockey player Ryan Knowles has been running around the Kalka Shades fields for the past 40 years ? now he is upgrading.

Knowles has been instrumental in the Kalka revamp which has included artificial turf resurfacing of the main field, new dugouts and grandstands.

With the Rockhampton Hockey Association's first games due to start on March 31, and the new-look venue's official opening on April 1, Knowles said the project was "99.5% complete''.

All that is left is the glueing down the artificial turf edges ? one final touch not being helped by this week's rain.

"The wet weather is good for a lot of people, but not for our project at the moment,'' Knowles said.

Extensive travels around the world and watching son Mark play hockey for Australia helped Knowles' vision for the Kalka upgrade.

And it is these travels again this year that will restrict Knowles hitting the new surface with the Southside A1 men's hockey team in a disjointed playing season.

"There'll be more seasons after this.''

Kalka Shades is getting a facelift after receiving an inter- national standard surface nine years ago.

Now it has additional international lighting standards and a bigger field ? a requirement in the rule book.

"This field is up to worldclass standard,'' he said.

Knowles said there should now be a bit more give in the field ? which should be better on the body. Grants from the State Government and Rockhampton City Council were instrumental in the upgrade, but Knowles said they (Rockhampton Hockey) still has a major debt to pay off.



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