$200,000 for Grafton Hockey to bed down plan
By EMMA CORNFORD
COME Easter, Grafton will be overrun by hockey players.
Well, that's the plan after the Grafton Hockey Association secured $200,000 of Federal Government funding to build dormitory-style accommodation for sporting teams at the Fisher Park hockey fields.
And although he is more of a cricket or rowing man himself, Federal Member for Page Ian Causley said he was pleased to be able to announce the funds as part of the regional partnerships program.
Grafton Hockey Association president Bruce Carle said pending the development's approval by council, the showers and change rooms would be completed by April and the rest by July or August.
He said the accommodation would not just benefit hockey.
"We've just had 120 rowers down here because the river is popular and last month there was the regatta with 1500 people, so when you look at that it will benefit people from all sports," Mr Carle said.
"The thing is, when sporting teams come down here their coaches want them all together so they can eat breakfast together and they're easier to supervise and that's what this will provide."
Mr Carle said the association also hoped to give back to different sporting clubs around the Valley.
"When teams come here we're hoping to be able to give a portion of the money to the local sporting body, whether it be Grafton Rowing or whatever else, so they can promote their sport and what they do," he said.
"We also think schools will be able to get a use out of it with school visiting programs and interschool sporting competitions and that kind of thing."
Plans for the building also include large water tanks to help the construction be more self-sufficient.
Although security concerns were raised at the site last year after a number of cars were vandalised at the hockey grand finals, Mr Carle said security would be adequate.
"I think we'll have sufficient security in place and it's patrolled by a local patrol car as well," he said.
"Of course we'll never stop vandalism, but I don't think this will suffer."