Grafton youngsters travelled to Tamworth over the weekend to compete in that city’s carnival. Images: Contributed.

Grafton Under 11s enjoy their hockey, indoors and out!

Forty-eight enthusiastic under 11 boys and girls traveled to Tamworth on the weekend for the annual York Cup and Kim Small Shield.

This weekend gives players the wonderful opportunity to develop their skills on a full-size outdoor field, and try their hand at the indoor game, often for the first time.

Hosts, Tamworth Hockey Association, did an amazing job with the rapidly changing COVID restrictions to allow the tournament to continue. A number of metropolitan teams were forced to withdraw prior to the tournament causing last-minute draw changes. The officials, volunteers, players, and their families, all accommodated ongoing COVID safe practices without a fuss. They were just so happy to be there playing hockey!

Reports from the “dugouts” were that the Grafton players all played hard, with great team spirit and respect for umpires. As well as learning new skills, they have also had loads of fun and forged new friendships.

Grafton also had seven umpires step up at the last minute to assist with umpiring. A big thanks to umpires Sam Palmer, Cooper Stephenson, Zayden Third, Gus Lobsey, Theo Lobsey, Meg Amos and Georgia Skeels. The players and families are also very appreciative of the Grafton volunteer coaches, managers, and behind-the-scenes organizers who helped provide this wonderful opportunity.

Unfortunately, the Over 55s men who were scheduled to play in the Master’s State Championships in Taree on the weekend were not so fortunate, with their tournament postponed.

Other State championships hang in the balance, with decisions pending on the Under 13 Girls Championships scheduled for Grafton on July 2-4, and the Under 13 Boys scheduled for Parkes on July 9-11.


Angie Day