Hockey Australia has backed the decision by Victoria to stage the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
Commonwealth Games chiefs this week announced that the Victorian Government had joined forces to enter exclusive negotiations to stage the Games following Birmingham 2022.
If Victoria won the bidding rights, it would leave hockey in a promising position to be part of the Games programme after officials said that the make-up would be up to the host.
“Australia has a proud record of hosting successful Commonwealth Games,” said Hockey Australia CEO David Pryles.
“Hockey Australia strongly promotes the wide ranging benefits of our sport, especially for people’s physical and mental health. Holding the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria would bring this positive message even more to the forefront.”
“The news that these Commonwealth Games would be taken to all parts of Victoria is also hugely exciting for those associated with hockey and sport in general in these smaller towns and cities, particularly the next generation of Kookaburras and Hockeyroos.”
“A number of our best hockey talent heralds from regional centres and hockey is extremely popular outside of the capital cities.
Hockey Victoria CEO Andrew Skillern said on the announcement: “Having international hockey and the Commonwealth Games back in Victoria will provide our community with a real buzz and a much needed boost to the sport’s profile.”
The Kookaburras have won every gold medal on offer since hockey was first introduced to the Games in 1998, while the Hockeyroos have medalled in every edition including four gold.
Meanwhile, the Sultana Bran Hockey One League has a new general manager with experienced sports executive Andy Crook appointed to lead Australia’s premier national hockey league.
Crook spent five years as Chief Operating Officer for the National Basketball League (NBL) and was Chief Executive of netball’s Trans-Tasman competition.
“Andy has extensive knowledge and experience in leading and growing competitions that share similarities with the Sultana Bran Hockey One League,” said Sultana Bran Hockey One League Chair, Colin Richardson.
“As an elite sport competition with a compelling spectator offering, Hockey One has immense potential and is the integral piece to bring hockey into the mainstream of Australian sport and the minds of all sport enthusiasts.
“Building hockey’s recognition in Australia following the Kookaburras’ successful Olympic campaign is a key goal for Andy and Hockey One.”