Sport draws a crowd
IT was a full house in Grafton at the weekend as hundreds of youngsters and their families descended on the Clarence Valley from across the state for the Hockey NSW under-13 Boys Field State Championship games.
Twenty-seven teams from 20 associations around the state began to arrive on Thursday and played up until Sunday, providing the region with an extra economic boost on the back of the July Racing Carnival.
Restaurants including Grafton District Services Club and the Clocktower Hotel were kept busy with an influx of family bookings on both Friday and Saturday, and some hotels were stretched to their limits.
Quality Inn employee Tracey Hill said both their Fitzroy St and Econo Lodge sites were almost fully booked on a typically quiet weekend of the year.
"At this time of the year it's not normally as busy, and weekends in general are usually our quieter days," she said.
"It's certainly been a benefit to us and it will have flow-on effects for the town."
Grafton Hockey Association administrator Joel Ward said the advantage of hosting an under 13s event as opposed to older age groups was that everyone travelled together.
"Because it's such a family orientated event, that really helps," Mr Ward said.
"We've just had families everywhere.
"It's been a big weekend for us, and pubs, restaurants, hotels and service stations would have benefited as well."