Masters to gather
SIXTEEN Coffs Coast players will represent NSW at the Australian Men's Masters National Hockey Championships in September.
The state teams are selected from each of the age-based championships played throughout the regular season.
Masters start with the over-35 age group then move up all the way up to the over-75's and Coffs Harbour has representatives in just about all of them.
This year's national titles will take place in Lismore and Ballina and should attract over 1800 players and officials.
It's one of the largest single-sport events in the country and hundreds of supporters will accompany the 85 teams competing across 16 days of action.
Russ Atkinson, coordinator of Coffs Coast men's masters hockey, said the coastal contingent is extremely keen to do well in what is effectively a local event.
"They'll do it on a brand new, state-of-the-art hockey facility but it's not all completely serious stuff though,” he said.
"Masters also like to promote the social aspects and teams gather in assigned hospitality tents following each game to swap stories, present awards and make new friends.
"This is a great result for our local players as our guys play at all levels in the competition and really work hard for their selection.
"Many of them are junior coaches, managers or committee members at their local clubs and the national championships give them a great opportunity to spend some time away and focus on playing top level hockey.”
Those selected are Dale Neaves, Keith Jervis, David Rake, Paul Mills, Scott Waddell, Dave Dedman, Jonathan Williams, Adam Ellison, Phil Grant, Kerry Wise, Shane Freeman, Ashley Watson, Mark Freeman, Mark Mills, Neil Pengilly and Alan Crouch.
This weekend the sport has another major reason to celebrate with Coffs Harbour hosting the Women's Masters Half-State Masters Championships.
The event has drawn teams from all over northern NSW for three days of action and Coffs Harbour Masters have three teams entered across multiple age divisions.
Apart from competition the event will be a charity fundraiser for Little Wings and Do Something Day, addressing the plight of drought stricken farming families.