Rockhampton Hockey Association earns the 2019 Oceania Cup hosting rights
Photo Credits : Hockey Australia

Hockey Australia (HA) today congratulates the Rockhampton Hockey Association (RHA) on being awarded official hosting rights for the 2019 Oceania Cup.

The Oceania Hockey Federation have confirmed Rockhampton as the host for next year’s event, which was last year won by both the Hockeyroos and the Kookaburras in Sydney.

Rockhampton has a remarkable history with Hockey, with Kookaburras legends Jamie Dwyer, Matt Gohdes and Mark Knowles all hailing from the region.

HA CEO Matt Favier said: “We’re thrilled for the Rockhampton Hockey Association to earn the rights, through an independent process conducted by the Oceania Hockey Federation, to host a major continental event such as the Oceania Cup.

“This is a great coup for a Hockey-loving region.”

RHA president Barbara Knowles, who is the mother of Mark, said the decision provides recognition to the rich Hockey region which will host the biennial event for the first time.

“It’s outstanding for Rockhampton and for our region as a whole,” Knowles said.

“For a small regional centre, we receive amazing support for Hockey, from the Rockhampton Regional Council, the local media, the local community and the State and Federal Government.

“We’re currently investing $5 million into our hockey centre to upgrade our facilities, so to have this awarded is recognition and reward for what this community puts into Hockey.

“Bringing events like this to regional centres with strong grass roots Hockey bases will only grow the sport and inspires future generations.”

The RHA’s upgrades include construction of a second FIH certified international standard turf field to be completed in time for next year’s Oceania Cup as well as upgrading their existing international turf field with new carpet, upgrade of lights, scoreboards and floodproofing the venue.

The 2019 Oceania Cup is due to take place from 1-8 September 2019.

The winner of the Oceania Cup, which has been held 10 times and was first played in 1999, earns an automatic spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. FIH Hero Rankings points are also available at the Oceania Cup.

“With the rivalry between Australia and New Zealand and a guaranteed spot in the Tokyo Olympics available, it couldn’t get any better,” Knowles said.

“It’s a significant event and we’re also excited to see the other Oceania nations in the Hockey 5s tournament too.”

The Kookaburras are 10-time winners of the Oceania Cup, while the Hockeyroos have won the continental title seven times.