Hockey Australia has announced its Indoor Australian Championships will be held in Wollongong in 2016 and 2017 thanks to a two-year partnership with Destination Wollongong.
The three-week festival of indoor hockey will be played at the Illawarra Hockey Centre and will see more than 1000 participants, officials and supporters descend on the New South Wales seaside city between 4 and 26 January.
Championships will be played in Open, Under 21, Under 18 and Under 15 categories, and a new Under 13 event, over the 23 days.
“This is the first time that we have consolidated our Indoor Australian Championships into one venue to create a festival of indoor hockey and we’re looking forward to working with our partner, Destination Wollongong to make it a success,” said Ben Hartung, General Manager of Hockey at Hockey Australia.
“The family-friendly nature of hockey will work perfectly with Wollongong and with more than 1000 people descending on the city for the Championships we’re looking forward to the buzz that will be generated in January for the indoor festival.
“I expect we’ll see plenty of beach recovery sessions!” he added.
“The addition of a new Under 13 Indoor Australian Championships brings our indoor competitions in line with our outdoor events and provides some of our youngest participants with a valuable opportunity to represent their state or territory and experience a national competition.”
Destination Wollongong General Manager Mark Sleigh said the Indoor Australian Championships was a perfect fit for the city.
“Wollongong has impressive hockey infrastructure, led by the international-standard facilities at the Illawarra Hockey Centre, and the sport enjoys a strong following regionally,” said Mr Sleigh.
“It’s a great fit when you consider our proximity to Sydney airport, the fact we’re a coastal destination with 17 patrolled beaches and family-friendly attractions such as Jamberoo Action Park and Sunset Cinema, and boast a diverse range of accommodation, including a plethora of options at the University of Wollongong throughout January.
“The city will be buzzing over summer and we’ve been delighted to work with Hockey Australia in bringing to fruition their progressive step of consolidating their indoor championships. It’s a boon for Wollongong and is set to add $1 million to our visitor economy.”
The University of Wollongong, Illawarra South Coast Hockey Association and Hockey New South Wales will support Hockey Australia and Destination Wollongong in the successful delivery of the new festival of indoor hockey.
The Illawarra Hockey Centre recently hosted the Country Australian Championships in the outdoor version of the game, which saw NSW men and VIC women crowned 2015 champions.
The Indoor Australian Championships are the first to be awarded to a host under Hockey Australia’s new tender-based bidding process, which concluded last month. An announcement of the venues and dates for next year’s outdoor Australian Championships will be made in early October.
Championship Dates - 2016
Open Men & Women: Monday 4 - Thursday 7 January (Training Day - Sun 3 Jan)
U21 Men & Women: Saturday 9 - Tuesday 12 January (Training Day - Fri 8 Jan)
U18 Men & Women: Thursday 14 - Sunday 17 January (Training Day - Wed 13 Jan)
U15 Boys & Girls: Tuesday 19 - Friday 22 January (Training Day - Mon 18 Jan)
U13 Boys & Girls: Sunday 24 - Tuesday 26 January (Training Day - Sat 23 Jan)
On social media: #AusChampsHockey
Accommodation in Wollongong - More Info & Booking Form
Destination Wollongong has worked with its major accommodation partners to block out a large number of rooms for the championships, ensuring the best market rates for participants and supporters.
These can be booked online and include a diverse range of accommodation for all budgets. A dedicated online booking portal can be accessed here or interested parties can also call 1300 79 20 30.