Full steam ahead at Kalka Shades in countdown to Oceania Cup
HOCKEY: The new synthetic surface at Kalka Shades should be ready for play by the first weekend in August, according to Rockhampton Hockey Association president Barb Knowles.
German company Polytan finished laying the last of the carpet on Saturday and progress is fast being made on the field surrounds in the countdown to the Oceania Cup in September.
The international tournament will run from September 4-8 in Rockhampton, only the second regional centre in Australia to host the event.
The Australian and New Zealand men's and women's hockey teams will play a best-of-three Test series, with the winners automatically qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Intercontinental Hockey 5s will run in conjunction with the Cup, with Pacific Island nations Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Fiji playing for world ranking points.
There will also be a special exhibition match featuring local Olympic heroes Mark Knowles, Jamie Dwyer and Matt Gohdes playing against the CQ Mudturtles.
Knowles said the practical completion date for the new surface was Friday, July 26.
"They're working furiously over there to make that happen,” she said.
"We're hoping to have games on there on the first weekend in August.
"We want to start playing on it as soon as possible to bed it down.”
Knowles said two permanent grandstands were being built but temporary seating would be added to accommodate spectators for the Oceania Cup.
The lighting and irrigation are nearing completion, as are the player dugouts and tech benches.
"The surface looks magnificent - the blue with the green surrounds - and we were very pleased to see that go down,” Knowles said.
"The surrounds are starting to look really good as well.
"When we reach practical completion and know it's our turn to take over, it will be very emotional.
"I'll be very happy and very proud for Rockhampton Hockey and for Rockhampton City.”
The Rockhampton Hockey Association is calling for volunteers to help make the Oceania Cup a fantastic experience for all involved.
Knowles said this was a unique opportunity to not only watch a live international sporting event but to be involved in the running of it.
"We'd love the Rocky community to get involved,” she said.
"You don't have to have any knowledge of hockey - it's just a great opportunity to come along and soak up a bit of the atmosphere of the event.”
Transporting players, ticketing, food and beverage service and crowd management were some of the areas in which volunteers were needed.
Interested individuals or local groups can contact Barb Knowles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0419 830 188.
- Daily: Reserved area (all ages) $35 adult, $25 children (5-17), $15 children (4 and under) free.
- 3-day pass: Reserved area (all ages) $95 adult, $65 children (5-7), $35, children (4 and under) free.
- Go to rockhamptontickets.com.au