Perth beat rivals to keep hockey program

December 02, 2022 01:54 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Perth will remain Australia's home of hockey after its promise of a $135-million redevelopment and a stadium that can fit up to 10,000 fans were enough to win a fierce bidding war.

Governing bodies in the ACT, NSW, Queensland and Victoria all submitted expressions of interest to become the sport's new hub following the 2024 Paris Olympics in what would have been a huge shake-up of the status quo.

The Queensland and NSW bids failed to progress, leaving the ACT and Victoria to battle Perth for the rights.

Perth has been the sport's high-performance base since 1984, and WA Hockey were desperate to retain the program.

Hockey Australia (HA) announced on Friday that Perth had won the race.

The existing facility at Curtin University will be transformed into a world-class, purpose-built Australian Hockey Centre, with three international-standard pitches, a specialist goalkeeper training facility, an indoor hockey centre and extensive recovery, gym and support facilities. 

The major stadium will include seating for up to 10,000 spectators.

A decision on whether the HA administration headquarters will remain in Melbourne or move to Perth will be made at a later date.

The state-of-the-art hockey centre will be among the best in the world, and HA president Ross Sudano said it was a landmark day for the sport in Australia.

"This investment will allow us to sharpen our focus on player welfare and a world-class training environment," Sudano said.

A new travel-allowance program will provide opportunities for athletes to remain connected to family and friends. 

HA chief executive David Pryles lauded the provision to provide and fund an athlete wellbeing support role to as players establish themselves and adjust to a change in their lifestyle.

"We recognise these arrangements will be quite different, with some athletes relocating and some being part of a hybrid program with short stays," Pryles said.

"We want to ensure we cater for all players' circumstances. The outcome sought will be to ensure the best possible outcome for the player and their families."

The Kookaburras romped to a seventh-straight Commonwealth Games gold medal in August, a year after settling for silver at the Tokyo Olympics following a dramatic shootout loss to Belgium.

The rebuilt Hockeyroos were third at this year's World Cup and claimed silver at the Commonwealth Games after losing to England 2-1 in the final.


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