Hockey Australia announces National Championship calendar for 2021
Melbourne [Australia], August 6: Hockey Australia on Thursday confirmed dates and venues for the various national outdoor championships for 2021.
The national outdoor hockey championship calendar commences in April with the Under-18 and Under-15 Championships taking place in Launceston (Tasmania) and Bathurst (NSW) respectively.
The Under-21 Championships follow the Moorebank Liverpool District Hockey Club (NSW) from June 30, before the Country Championships are held from August 7-14 in Albany, Western Australia.
The first-ever Mega Masters will run from September 23 until October 9, with the National Under-13 Carnival in Hobart scheduled for the first week of October.
Considering the challenges faced by all sports because of the pandemic, Hockey Australia CEO Matt Favier believes this announcement of next year's national championships calendar provides a sense of optimism and anticipation for the wider hockey community in a time of uncertainty.
"Following successful discussions with our funding partners, councils, committees, Member Associations and event hosts, we are excited to confirm that all events (excluding Masters) in 2021 will be played in the same locations as was planned for 2020," Favier said in a statement.
"Ultimately these events are about enjoyment, competitiveness and everything that is great about our sport, so as disappointing as it has been not seeing them held this year, there is a genuine sense of excitement about what 2021 holds," he added.
With the uncertainty of how Australia will be affected by COVID-19 heading into 2021, Hockey Australia and the Member Associations will continue to monitor the situation and make further decisions if and at the appropriate time.
"The safety, health and wellbeing of all players, staff, officials and spectators remains Hockey Australia's top priority, so we will continue to follow government advice and direction, but we are largely enthused about all of these events recommencing in 2021," Favier said.
"These dates and details are obviously subject to the situation with COVID-19, but this announcement demonstrates that as a sport, we are eager to begin planning and preparation for holding successful events next year with participants from across the country," he added.
All up, Hockey Australia's national championships comprise over 4,500 competitors annually, not including umpires, officials, coaches and volunteers.
In consultation with all Member Associations and the HA Masters Committee, the decision was made back in late March to cancel all Australian 2020 Hockey Championship events.
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