Future of hockey in Devonport assured

HOCKEY will continue to be played at Devonport’s Meercroft Park after Labor announced a $200,000 grant for an upgrade of the ground.

Federal Member for Braddon Sid Sidebottom announced the grant yesterday.

“As it stands now, hockey will not be played in Devonport next season unless this upgrade takes place – we are determined to ensure the new surface will happen,” Mr Sidebottom said.

After Mr Sidebottom heard the Devon Hockey Club had already managed to raise $200,000 he worked for weeks to match that.

“To their great credit, the [Meercroft Park Development] Committee and clubs worked hard to raise $200,000 over a long period of time for this project and they deserve our further support,” Mr Sidebottom said.

The committee presented Mr Sidebottom with a petition with more than 600 signatures asking for federal support.

Once the ground is upgraded, it is hoped it will be used by for statewide hockey as well as local and Coastal hockey.

“This good news is self-help being rewarded,” Mr Sidebottom said.

The $200,000 put up by the Labor government was already in the budget through the Sporting Communities Program, Mr Sidebottom said.

Devon Hockey chairman Shannon Wainwright said the funding announcement would mean the club would be basically debt free.

Mr Wainwright looks forward to adding more depth to hockey in the area.

Federal Liberal candidate for Braddon Brett Whiteley said he had advised the Meercroft Development Committee that should the Coalition be elected, the committee would receive $200,000.

WE CAN PLAY ON: At the funding announcement are (front) Devonport player Sandra Jago (left) and Evergreys’ Lynda Hutton and (back) Meercroft committee member Colin Emmett, vice-president Colin Ryan, president Shannon Wainwright, Member for Braddon Sid Sidebottom, treasurer Julie Woodberry, umpire Sharon Mullins and West Devonport players Stephen and Anthony King, Picture: Katrina Dodd.

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