International hockey tournament to bring CQ economic boost
ROCKHAMPTON has scored the rights to host an international sporting competition estimated to bring over $500,000 to the region.
Men and women from across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands will converge on the city late next year to take part in the Oceania Cup and the InterContinental Hockey5s.
The event, held every two years, was last year played in Sydney.
Rockhampton had previously lost a bid to host the 2015 tournament and it's understood plans to construct a second synthetic turf at Kalka Shades was the clincher for the 2019 bid.
The bid was partly financed by Rockhampton Regional Council, who provided $50,000.
The region is expected to see good return on its investment though, with council estimates that over $500,000 could be injected back into the community.
Barbara Knowles, President of the Rockhampton Hockey Association, said hosting the event would not be possible without council support for the bid or the extensive expansions at Kalka Shades.
Council had previously planned to build a new international-standard hockey precinct at Parkhurst.
Funding was approved from the Federal and State governments, designs were developed for the precinct and the council authorised planning changes to the land to accommodate the move.
However, late last year the council had to halt the project after quotes for the synthetic turf came in well above estimates.
Rockhampton Hockey decided to return to their original plan of building a second synthetic field at Kalka Shades despite it being threatened by floods.
Tenders for the expansion are expected to be awarded in coming weeks and construction will start immediately, with an end-of-year deadline.
Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow said investing in the sport was also about building its legacy in the city.
"For our region to be hosting a major international sporting competition is absolutely fantastic,” Cr Strelow said.
"I want to commend the Rockhampton Hockey Association for putting their hand up for this.
"They have, and will continue to, put in a huge amount of time and effort to bring international sports stars to our doorstep, and for that we are very grateful.
"It's the volunteer hours that should be commended.
"Spectators will travel here from across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands to watch some of the world's best hockey players compete.
"They will need places to stay, to eat, and have fun, and businesses across our region will receive a real economic boost from that.”