National country championships canned

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
LGSHA’s newly laid turf.
Camera IconLGSHA’s newly laid turf. Credit: Laurie Benson

Albany will not host the national country championships set down for August, with Hockey Australia announcing all national tournaments have been cancelled amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The announcement was made on Tuesday and includes the Australian Country Championships that were set to be played on the new synthetic field that was officially opened earlier this month.

Albany and the Lower Great Southern Hockey Association had won the tender to hold the 2020 championships.

The championships were set to run from August 8-15.

LGSHA president Alex Bott said they would push to hold the championships in Albany in 2021.

“In light of all the circumstances, this is the appropriate course of action,” Bott said.

“We are really hopeful that it can be held here next year, but that is a fair way down the track.

“The amount of preparation you have to do to hold events like this, an early call has to be made before too much time and money is invested.” Bott said the positive was the LGSHA had new synthetic turf ready to use once the current situation cleared.

“It is disappointing, but we’ve got a brand new facility here now, ready to go,” he said. “Our association is in ongoing discussions with Hockey WA regarding the situation as it unfolds and how it relates to the local season.”

Hockey WA has postponed all hockey-related activities until May 31, and Bott said the LGSHA was open to flexibility if there came a time to run a season later in the year.

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