Manning Hockey on a high

Three tiers of government and two sporting clubs met at Taree Recreation Centre for this week's announcement of the start of work at the Manning Hockey Centre. They are Paul De Szell (MidCoast Council), Deb Tuckerman (MidCoast Council), Debbie Monck (Manning Hockey Association president), Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie, Michael Cross (Manning Cycle Club president), Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead, Craig Colvin (Manning Hockey), Dan Aldridge (MidCoast Council) and David Thompson, the CEO of Hockey NSW. Photo Rob Douglas
Three tiers of government and two sporting clubs met at Taree Recreation Centre for this week's announcement of the start of work at the Manning Hockey Centre. They are Paul De Szell (MidCoast Council), Deb Tuckerman (MidCoast Council), Debbie Monck (Manning Hockey Association president), Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie, Michael Cross (Manning Cycle Club president), Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead, Craig Colvin (Manning Hockey), Dan Aldridge (MidCoast Council) and David Thompson, the CEO of Hockey NSW. Photo Rob Douglas

MANNING Hockey Association will have the capacity to host open and under 18 State championships once a third synthetic surface field comes into play next year.

Hockey NSW chief executive David Thompson said this on Wednesday at the official turning of the sod for major works to be carried out on the Manning Hockey Centre at Taree Recreation Centre. The $1.7 million project will include extensions to the hockey clubhouse as well as the establishment of the third field.

Taree will become just the fifth centre in NSW to boast three synthetic fields, Mr Thompson revealed.

“With the clubhouse environment we’ll have here it is possible for us to open this up to bring State and national championships here,’’ Mr Thompson confirmed.

Mr Thompson said that Manning hosting a national championship is ‘a possibility’ but added the lack of suitable accommodation would be ‘tricky.’

“They’re 12 day events and so we’d need apartment-style accommodation,’’ he explained.

However, he said Taree would be right in the running for major State events once the project is completed.

“This would be for open age and under 18s which can only be played at three field complexes,’’ Mr Thompson added.

The Manning has regularly hosted junior State championships along with masters events since the first synthetic field came into play in 1988. The second was established in 2000.

Mr Thompson said Hockey NSW has a five year deal with Destinations NSW to hold two major events in the State. This will conclude in 2020. He said the calendar for 2018 is already completed, but he added the Manning can nominate for 2019. There were three tiers of government represented at this week’s function, attended by Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie, Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead and MidCoast Council.

Manning Cycle Club will also benefit from the project, with the club able to establish a headquarters underneath the hockey clubhouse extensions.

Club president Michael Cross said this will enable the club to host regional events on the criterium track that loops around the hockey complex. 

Manning Cycle Club finally has a home

MANNING Cycle Club’s half century nomadic existence will come to an end when work is complete on the extensions to Manning Hockey Association’s clubhouse.

Cycle president Michael Cross explained the club will use the bottom section of the clubhouse to establish a headquarters.

“The club’s been looking for a home for 50 years,’’ Mr Cross said.

“Now we’ll finally have one.’’

Mr Cross pointed to the club’s current ‘base’ – a storage shed that sits near Manning Hockey Association’s Allan Taylor Field.

“I think we got that when the Cundletown Pool closed,’’ he said.

“That’s been our clubhouse.’’

Mr Cross added the headquarters will enable the club to apply to host regional and possibly State events at the criterium track that loops around the hockey complex.

Regional championships would bring cyclists to Taree from Newcastle through to Grafton.

“We’ll be having our major criterium event here again in October that we started last year,’’ he said.

He added that work is expected to be finished on the hockey extension by September.

“So that will be our first hitout.’’

He added the criterium track is believed to be the only one in NSW withlighting and this will be a further boost in any bid to attract events here.

The club will be able to store gear at the headquarters along with specialised training equipment. This will particularly benefit the club’s juniors.

Mr Cross said the cycle club will provide $400,00 towards the overall cost of the work.

Manning Hockey Association president Debbie Monck confirmed the third synthetic surface hockey field will be multi-use. Work will start on construction of the field soon.

The association has spoken with Football Mid North Coast about the possibility of playing soccer on the field.

“Junior cricket’s another potential user,’’ she said.

“This for the community, not just hockey. It’s a great thing.’’

Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead praised the manner in which the cycle club and hockey association worked together to ensure State and federal funding for the project.

“The two have combined to ensure there’s a great result for the community with the building of this facility,’’ he said.

He added that the two sports will ensure the complex is used all year.

Member for Lyne, Dr David Gillespie said he looks forward to major hockey and cycling events being held here regularly held here once the project in completed.