Baby boomers win

FOR the captain of the Newcastle Over-35s women's hockey team the secret to winning a sports championship is simple: have lots of children.

Addressing the crowd at the presentation ceremony of the Northern NSW Half-State Women's Veterans Hockey Championships, held in Grafton over the weekend, she revealed the 16 players in her team had produced 38 children between them, grinning as she attributed their division one win to their child-bearing prowess. This is the second time Grafton has hosted the annual event, attracting 47 teams from Newcastle to the Queensland border, and from as far west as Moree.

With 130 matches being played between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning, tournament director Rod Gould said everyone was 'exhausted but happy'.

"Hosting a tournament like this is great for Grafton, it promotes the sport and gives the economy a boost," he said.

"We're really happy with the way the tournament went, so many people put in huge efforts to keep the wheels turning.

"The standard of play was excellent, it was great to see Grafton teams in the finals of the Over-45s and Over-50s.

After this event went so well we're all really looking forward to next year when Grafton hosts the NSW Men's Under 17s and NSW Men's Open tournaments."

Director of Hockey NSW Pat McCabe said Grafton's location and high class facilities made it an ideal location for large tournaments, hinting there may be more to come once construction of on-site accommodation was complete.

"There's a lot going for the Grafton fields, the two synthetic fields and the facilities are ideal. Once the dormitories are finished I can see training camps and other competitions being held here," he said.

"Over the weekend Grafton Hockey and the organising committee put on a great show here, everything ran exceptionally smoothly.

"It was a good, fun competition, it was lovely to see the players competing passionately on the field and having a great time socially off the field I understand they all enjoyed Grafton's nightlife very much."

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