Hockey comp back this week

THE Daily Examiner Primary Schools Hockey Competition makes a stellar return this Thursday with 24 teams entered for a four week period of fast, fun and exciting action with main play on the two synthetics.

The six entered schools will compete in two divisions of Years 3 and 4 and 5 and 6.

There are winners at the end but the whole concept is even teams, learning new skills, making new friends and just enjoying the social nature of playing for their school team.

Up for grabs are trophies named after some of the superstars of Grafton Hockey. Vic Wunderlich Shield for Years 3 and 4 boys- named after the most experienced Australian Masters player in Grafton.

The Brent Livermore Shield for Years 5 and 6 boys is named after the Olympic gold medallist and 300-test Kookaburra, ringing from Holland to congratulate the winners.

Australian women representatives of the past - Angela James and Megan Mc Phillips - carry names on the girls’ trophies with NHL Waratahs captain Robbie Green representing the mixed teams.

Grafton Hockey will supply coaches from the clubs, sticks for beginners and free use of the complex.

Games start at 4.30pm.

Other big events coming up is the start of indoor Hockey with games held each Monday from 5pm. The venue has been changed from last year and will be held in the Grafton High MPC.

On Monday a coaching clinic was held and next Monday competition will start. Visit the Grafton Hockey website for nominations or contact Jeff Thomas.

The number of teams is limited to 10 only. Grafton has had a skyrocket ascendancy in the indoor game of hockey, competing with great success in the age groups of both boys and girls with five players selected in NSW indoor teams in 2009.

Junior boys’ sign-on day is scheduled for Saturday, March 6.

This is well behind other winter sports in Grafton but the junior committee wanted players, new and old to enjoy their summer activities. All clubs will be present on this day with the sign-on held at the Grafton Hockey Centre from 12-2pm. All players must have an email and Medicare number for registration.

The competition for all hockey players will start on the weekend of March 27 and 28. Junior boys will start their competition with a gala afternoon of hockey.

A regional hockey clinic from beginners to advanced will be held on the weekend of March 13 and 14. Top coaches will take players through skills and drills and the clinic is limited to the first 100 players. Visit Grafton Hockey website for nomination forms.

Under-17 selection trials will be held on the Water-base from 1-2.30pm. All players are invited to trial as Grafton will be sending two representative teams to Lithgow for the State Championships.

One of our top coaches has agreed to coach the A team in a bid to maintain our position with the big guns in A-division. Selectors are Jeff Thomas and John Taylor. Under-13s and 15s will commence immediately after the school vacation.

The popular Thursday night under-16 competition is planning to have a local band perform at some of the games to aid in the socialisation of young teenagers. Girl players are restricted to a maximum of four to a team.

The theme of Grafton Hockey for both juniors and seniors in 2010 is to make Grafton Hockey a social and enjoyable experience, with winning a part but not the major priority.

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