Hockey faces a work crisis
By TONY WHITE
AROUND 600 male hockey players are facing the possibility of a competition shut down by the June long weekend.
Hockey has been plunged into crisis due to lack of administrators.
"The current draw has been completed until the long weekend in June but unless something is resolved at a meeting scheduled for May 15, men's and junior boys' hockey in Grafton will cease," Grafton hockey president Bruce Carle stated. "Representative games will also have to be looked at and most likely curtailed or dropped."
Hockey in Grafton is enjoying a purple patch with 163 new players have signed up but a void has been left in the Grafton Men's Hockey Association since Peter Gibbons and Chris Blanchard stepped down from leadership roles.
"No one has filled the gaps," said Mr Carle. "It's the old story, one or two people are left to do the work." Approximately 1300 men, women and junior players are registered with the Grafton men's and women's hockey associations.
Grafton is renowned as a centre of hockey excellence. Olympians, Australian and State players of all ages have graduated through the local competition.
"The worst thing with all this is the kids will be the ones most affected," Mr Carle said. "Some people just expect things to happen but the same people have been doing the job for over 20 years and need help.
"Even within the junior ranks there are insufficient people taking on duties. "The culture must change otherwise the future is in doubt.
"We need an open meeting firstly to fill the vacant positions, secondly for people to come up with ideas for the future and thirdly to discuss the possibility of forming a Hockey Association Board combining the mens and womens associations with a full, or part-time administrator."