GFG Invitational Cup and hockey clinics in Whyalla
16 March 2023
Hockey in Whyalla is set for a massive boost with the running of the inaugural GFG Invitational Cup and Junior Clinics on March 18 and 19.
The GFG Alliance support of the weekend is just the first step in a concerted push by the Whyalla Hockey Association (WHA) and its partners to promote the game locally. The weekend’s invitational tournament and junior clinic will be followed by a Hockeyroos visit planned for May with more junior coaching clinics involving Australian representative players.
President Tony Appleyard said from the plans to build a second pitch at the centre, the WHA will then be aiming even higher for a possible national Hockey One match between the Adelaide Fire and Hockey Club Melbourne and eventually an international match involving the Kookaburras and/or Hockeyroos.
By having this GFG Invitational Tournament here, those kids and adults, will see some great hockey being played and then get the chance to have a go themselves at the junior clinics we will be runningTony Appleyard
Lofty ambitions but goals Tony thinks is possible starting with an increase in junior participation at club level through kids watching the GFG Invitational Cup and attending the coaching clinics in March and May.
“We see a lot of kids having a hit-around when they come here for senior matches and other functions at the hockey fields,” Tony said.
“We want to convert that into these kids having some great coaching, some wonderful mentors and making the step into playing hockey for a local club.
“By having this GFG Invitational Tournament here, those kids and adults, will see some great hockey being played and then get the chance to have a go themselves at the junior clinics we will be running.
“We have a lot of families here in Whyalla with a hockey background and keen interest in the sport, so we want to give them the opportunity to get back into the game and participate on the field.”
The GFG Invitational Cup will involve teams from the Woodville Hockey Club, Uni SA and the Adelaide Sikhs along with three local clubs. The junior clinics will run on Saturday morning March 18 with the invitational matches following and continuing on Sunday March 19.
Tony said the GFG Alliance support was invaluable for the game and junior development in Whyalla.
“Without GFG’s support these events would be very difficult to run,” Tony said.
“It is helping us to get kids involved in the sport and for us to provide more support in the community for our youth.
“All this leads to use being able to lift the standard of hockey in Whyalla and make us a desired destination for more high-profile matches and visits from national and international players.”
The Adelaide Sikhs club is one of those high-profile outfits that travels throughout the country and world playing exhibition matches. The Woodville Hockey Club and UniSA will also bring a high-level of competition for the local teams to test themselves against in the GFG Invitational Cup.
The Whyalla Hockey Association is the home of the Hummock Hill, Steel City, Stuart and Waratah hockey clubs.
Main image: Whyalla hockey players looking forward to the GFG Invitational Cup and Junior Clinics: Back row: Antonio Marino, Mirella Marino. Front row: Nischay Saharan, James Butler, Nicholas Manisalis and Abbie O’Brien.
GFG INVITATIONAL CUP
When: Saturday and Sunday 18-19 March 2023
Where: Whyalla hockey fields
Schedule: Saturday – 9am: Under 7 and Under 10 coaching clinic. 10am: Under 13 and Under 16 coaching clinic. 11am: GFG Invitational Cup matches. Sunday – GFG Invitiational Cup matches from 9.30am. Finals start 12 noon.
Register here: https://forms.gle/5zMg6FWypoRk1cD49