Lack of sporting ovals seems to be the only thing holding back the resurgence of hockey in Margaret River.
Hockey Club junior co-ordinator Mark Harrison told the Times the club had performed well in 2012 – taking out premiership wins in the men’s and women’s senior divisions – but the future of the sport was in the hands of the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.
“We need to expand our base membership and we can’t do that unless we have a ground, ” he said.
“We are keen for hockey to develop in the town.”
Mr Harrison said the sport was once among the most popular in the region, but had “died a natural death”, because of the rise of soccer.
The club lost its training facilities at Gloucester Park’s West Oval to Football Margaret River several years ago and sides had been relegated to training indoors at Margaret River Recreation Centre.
“We’re not angry with the council. They are supportive of our move to find a new ground, ” Mr Harrison said. “They realise not having a hockey oval is not ideal for the region and the club.”
Margaret River Hockey president Dan Stocker confirmed the club hadn’t spoken formally to the Shire about finding them a ground.
“I know the Shire via Supertowns funding are working on planning for improvements to the Gloucester Park sporting complex, ” he said.
“We would like them to consider allowing for a space for a hockey pitch.”
Although synthetic turf was the standard for modern hockey pitches, Mr Stocker said players would be more than happy to use a well-maintained, multipurpose grass field.
“We’re specifically looking at the area to the north of the cricket clubrooms, ” he said.
Despite the lack of training grounds, Mr Harrison said the club hoped to field at least three junior teams this year and in the South West League.
The issue was raised at the last meeting of the Shire’s Sport and Recreation Advisory Committee.