Emma Pritchard, Clarence Valley Independent
It was the perfect opportunity for the local hockey community to showcase their skills and home turf pride when the Grafton Hockey Association hosted the Men’s Masters Over 50’s State Championships last weekend.
Between June 4-6, 20 teams including local representatives Grafton 1 and Grafton 2, who competed in the first and third divisions respectively, took to the fields as a large crowd of spectators watched on.
Despite Grafton 1 going down 4-2 to Newcastle, and Grafton 2 beaten 5-0 by Inland NSW on Day 1, the crowd abided by Covid-19 safety regulations and enjoyed the event which gave the local economy a significant boost.
With upwards of 600 people visiting the Clarence Valley to participate in and support the event last weekend, President of the Men’s Masters Peter Gibbons said the tournament had great economic value for the local community and estimated its financial contribution to be “around a couple of hundred thousand dollars.”
“For Grafton to be able to host a tournament of that calibre in these current times, and for it to make a significant contribution to the local economy is a big thing for the community,” he said happily.
“People travelled from all over the state to be a part
of the tournament, plus their support crews came as well, so there would have been maybe 600 or 700 people here (in Grafton) over the weekend.”
Mr Gibbons said Grafton is fortunate to have the opportunity to host the tournament “every three to four years” and said it was especially great to see so many people attend.
“It’s a big event for Grafton”.
This article appeared in the Clarence Valley Independent, 9 June 2021.