No expansion for hockey with forced relocation

LETTER TO EDITOR: As my mother and I pondered the council's latest plan for the future of sport in Hervey Bay, it was clear we had to inform the public of some information.

The McFie Park Hockey Grounds were named after my parents, Marsh and Joan McFie.

Hockey was one of the first organised sports in Hervey Bay beginning in the 1960s. We initially played on the Pialba school oval before moving to the Archery Fields.

As hockey grew, we realised there was a need for our own fields and approached the Burrum Shire Council (as it was then). They leased us an area of raw scrub land at the back of Torquay. A very dedicated group of parents and businessmen spent any spare time over the next few years clearing the scrub, transforming it into the grass fields we have today. There was no help from the council.

We now have a reputation of having some of the best grass fields in Queensland.

Our two-storey clubhouse allows spectators to view all games being played.

Hockey is a family game with some families travelling to the grounds five or six times a week for games and training. If we are forced to move to the new area on Booral Rd near the River Heads turn-off, I believe the cost of fuel will dictate which players will only play at a school level, club level or representative level. It will prevent many poorer families from continuing the sport.

To hold a State Championship, we must have six grass fields or five grass fields and one turf.

The council have only allocated us four grass fields to begin with and a turf in seven years time. There is no room for expansion. This will prevent us from holding any State Championships in the future.

It looks good on paper but in reality, a white elephant.

I don't know about the other clubs, but as they have all been upgraded in the past few years with considerable expense, I suspect they would like to stay just where they are. Hervey Bay Hockey certainly does.

Leanne Angeles, Urangan



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