BIG JOB: Gympie hockey supporter Tony Wildman gets ready for the huge job of pulling up all the old synthetic surface at Ramsey Park to prepare for the new state-of-art hybrid field.
BIG JOB: Gympie hockey supporter Tony Wildman gets ready for the huge job of pulling up all the old synthetic surface at Ramsey Park to prepare for the new state-of-art hybrid field. Craig Warhurst

Out with the old, in with the new

A PIECE of Gympie sporting history will be pulled up this weekend when volunteers from the Gympie Hockey Club tear up the old synthetic playing surface to make way for a new state-of-the-art one.

The current surface is 25 years old.

When it was first laid it was the first of its type in Queensland and gave Gympie the honour of having the best centre in the state.

After years of fundraising and a $285,000 grant from the State Government, the Gympie Hockey Centre will return to its former glory. But Gympie Hockey President Ian Wenzel said there was still plenty of work to do.

He said volunteers would start ripping up the old surface this weekend.

He recommended any old members who would like one last glimpse of the field to get out there before Saturday.

“I think a lot of people will shed a few tears when the field gets lifted,” Wenzel said.

“A lot of people put a lot of hard work into getting the facility 25 years ago.” But Wenzel said a lot more people would be happy to see the old surface torn up.

He said it was well and truly past it’s use by date.

“The new surface will be great for old and new players,” Wenzel said.

Gympie hockey is installing a new hybrid synthetic system that doesn’t need watering like most modern synthetic hockey fields.

Wenzel said it was better for the environment and played just as well as a wet field.

Gympie hockey had a lot of support from the community, but Wenzel said any business or people who would like to come on board with sponsorship are more than welcome.

“We are trying to make the facility as good as we can,” Wenzel said. “Any one who would like to be a part of the project is more than welcome.

“We are looking for sponsors for the new score board and the dugouts.”

He said anybody willing to help out this weekend could help pull up the old surface.

“The more workers the better.”

“It is expected to take a few days to lift and remove the surface and the tonnes of sand that lays on it, so the more helpers we have the better,” he said.

Hockey field contractors will move onto the ground in the coming weeks to start work on the new field and it should be laid before Christmas.

Hockey officials will then put the finishing touches on the field so it is ready for the 2011 season.

Gympie Times


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