The Under 13 Girls State Hockey Championships in Grafton this weekend will go ahead as a COVID-safe event.
There are 18 field hockey teams participating from regional New South Wales, with one team from the Greater Sydney region pulling out. The regions include Coffs Coast, Parkes, Orange, Far North Coast, Tamworth, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, New England, Southern Highlands, Canberra, Bathurst, Goulburn and Manning Valley. Two Grafton teams are also participating.
Clarence Valley Council Mayor Jim Simmons said the championships provided an important boost of approximately $1.1 million annually to the local economy.
“It would be quite a loss for Clarence Valley accommodation providers and other hospitality businesses if we were to lose this event for a second year in a row,” Cr Simmons said.
“We are confident Hockey NSW and the local Grafton Hockey Association will do everything according to the COVID safe plan to keep our community safe.”
CEO of Hockey NSW, David Thompson, said the Under 13 Girls State Championships would be run in strict accordance with current NSW Government Health Orders and Grafton Hockey’s robust COVID safety plan.
“All participants who live in or have visited Greater Sydney since June 21 are barred from attending the event,” Mr Thompson said.
“Only teams and officials who reside in regional NSW will be allowed to travel to Grafton. All participants who attend the event will be required to adhere to health and safety protocols, including mask-wearing at all times (except when playing), social distancing and compulsory venue check-in.
“Hockey NSW’s main priority is to protect the health and safety of all our participants as well as the wider community.”
The Under 13 Girls State Hockey Championships will take place at the Grafton Hockey Fields from July 2-4.