CHAMPAGNE flowed as a new era was officially unveiled yesterday at the Grafton Hockey Fields.
Clinking their glasses, Mayor Richie Williamson, Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin, Grafton Hockey Association executive officer Bruce Carle and his wife Cheryl opened the $1 million overhaul of the Legends Field as part of the Fisher Park redevelopment.
Mr Carle said the future of hockey in Grafton received a boost after the 20-year-old sand-based hockey field was replaced with a water-based surface courtesy of a $475,000 Federal funding grant.
"Grafton is the best regional venue in NSW to play hockey and the new surface will improve playing playing conditions," he said.
Ms Saffin agreed, adding an average 47,000 people use the local hockey facilities each season.
"The Grafton Hockey Association had a vision and a dream to create quality facilities in Grafton and it has been a team effort to achieve those feats," she said.
Ms Saffin also paid tribute to the legends of the sport who attended the official opening yesterday.
Lorna Felton, Kerry Wilsmore and Pat Connelly were recognised as legends after dedicating most of their lives to the sport.
"It was an honour to attend the event and the new surface looks great," Lorna said.