Extract from the Gold Coast Bulletin:
When Daphne Pirie and her husband Mick first played hockey on the Gold Coast in 1959, it was on a bumpy grass field marked with reclaimed sump oil.
More than half a century later, the bumpy grass will be replaced by a world-class synthetic surface at Southport, a tangible legacy that will last far beyond the 2018 Commonwealth Games for which it will be built.
“It just means everything to me, what we’re seeing today,” Ms Pirie said.it.
“Gold Coast Hockey can now boast a facility that answers all the questions that the International Hockey Federation asks — that will bring international teams here.”
Ms Pirie vice-captained the Australian women’s hockey team in the Asian Test Series in Singapore in 1962 and with her husband helped establish the sport on the Gold Coast.Helensvale company Alder Constructions will complete the $14.5 million project, which general manager Dean Cheffers said would create 200 jobs.
He said more than 10 per cent of those would be provided in the form of apprenticeships in an effort to boost youth employment.
“It will be great for the local economy and there will be a lot of tradies who won’t have to drive up to Brisbane for work anymore.”
Commonwealth Games Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the redevelopment would include the realignment of the synthetic pitches to meet international competition requirements as well as the upgrade and expansion of the clubhouse to deliver permanent seating for 200 spectators, with capacity for 5000 spectators come Games time.
“The upgrade will not only provide outstanding facilities for the local hockey community, it will help attract major competitions and international training camps long after GC2018,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the project would ensure hockey remained a key sport in the city and attract other major competitions and international training camps.
Alder Constructions are scheduled to start work on expanding the existing clubhouse facility this month, with work on the synthetic pitches to take place over the hockey off-season from late this year, with completion due early next year