Gold Coast To Host AHL Finals & Major Hockey Events
Hockey Australia (HA) today announces that the City of Gold Coast will host three major Hockey events, including this year’s last-ever Australian Hockey League (AHL) Finals from 25-28 October.
The announcement is made in partnership with the Queensland Government and the City of Gold Coast under an agreement which will also see the 2019 Trans-Tasman Masters Hockey and 2019 Australian Women’s Masters Hockey played on the Gold Coast.
- Hockey Australia has agreed to a significant partnership with the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), and the City of Gold Coast to host three major Hockey events.
- Gold Coast will host the 2018 Australian Hockey League (AHL) Finals (25 - 28 October 2018), 2019 Trans-Tasman Masters Hockey Challenge (30 April - 4 May 2019) and 2019 Australian Women's Masters Hockey Championships (26 September - 5 October 2019).
- The AHL is the premier senior national competition featuring the best Hockey players in Australia from all eight states and territories.
- The 2018 AHL Finals will decide the last-ever champions, before next year’s reincarnation as a revamped league.
The Gold Coast Hockey Centre, which was the venue for all of the Commonwealth Games Hockey matches earlier this year, will host all matches in the AHL Finals.
Today’s announcement coincides with tickets going on sale for the AHL Finals via Ticketbooth from $10 for children and $15 for adults.
The Trans-Tasman Masters Hockey Challenge and Australian Women’s Masters Hockey Championships will take place at both the Gold Coast Hockey Centre and the Nikki Hudson Centre in Runaway Bay.
The 2018 AHL marks the final version of the premier senior national competition which has been played since 1991 in its current format before next year’s reincarnation as a revamped league.
Male and female teams from all eight states and territories compete in the competition, featuring the best Hockey players in Australia and is a key vehicle for selection opportunities for National Junior and Senior Squads such as the Kookaburras and the Hockeyroos.
The AHL Finals take place after three rounds of matches across the country throughout October, with the competition culminating on the Gold Coast with quarter-finals on Thursday 25 October, semi-finals on Saturday 27 October and bronze and gold medal matches on Sunday 28 October.
Hockey Australia CEO Matt Favier said: “We’re delighted to confirm the Gold Coast as home to the 2018 AHL Finals, where we’ll see the last ever AHL champions confirmed before we move into a new era with a revamped league in 2019 and beyond.
“Gold Coast proved itself as a wonderful host city and venue for Hockey during the 2018 Commonwealth Games with great crowds cheering the Kookaburras and the Hockeyroos on to gold and silver medals respectively.
“We’re thrilled to be able to play such an iconic and important event at this excellent venue and excited about more strong support for Hockey from the local community.”
Victoria heads into the 2018 AHL as the reigning champions across both men’s and women’s divisions, while this year’s hosts Queensland were beaten in both finals last year.
The WA Thundersticks hold the record for the most men’s AHL titles with 10 closely followed by Queensland Blades with nine, while NSW Arrows have the most women’s AHL titles with nine.
Favier added: “Hockey supporters will have amazing memories across three decades of the AHL, seeing the rise of numerous Hockeyroos and Kookaburras, memorable matches and various champions, so it’s sad to farewell the competition in its current format but an exciting time also for the domestic game.”
Queensland Government Assistant Tourism Industry Development Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the events, set to be held at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre, were a legacy of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“We wouldn’t have been able to secure these events without investing in new infrastructure to host the Commonwealth Games,” she said.
“These events will be held at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre which was upgraded ahead of the Games to host elite, international sport.
“We’re investing in major events because we know sport helps to drive visitors to the Coast and grow our local tourism industry.
“These events will give fans a chance to relive the excitement of the Games and see some of their favourite hockey athletes in action in one of the most sought-after tourism destinations on the planet.”
City of Gold Coast Acting Mayor Donna Gates said the city was seeing the economic and reputational return on its investment in world-class sporting infrastructure by securing these major hockey events.
“We always saw the Gold Coast Hockey Centre as a legacy project that would ensure hockey remains a key sport on the Gold Coast beyond GC2018 and these three competitions are the realisation of that vision,” Cr Gates said.
“Since the start of 2017, the City has facilitated 93 sporting initiatives including high performance training camps, state and national sporting events and exhibition matches, generating almost $40 million into the local economy.
“By working in close partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland our relationship has never been better and together we are scoring goals for the Gold Coast.”
The Trans-Tasman Masters Hockey Challenge is a biennial international masters hockey tournament between Australia and New Zealand which features 14 Australian teams (seven male and seven female) and 14 New Zealand teams (seven male and seven female) competing in seven age divisions: Over 35, Over 40, Over 45, Over 50, Over 55, Over 60 and Over 65. The event commenced in 2000.
Each division plays three matches and the nation that wins the most divisions across the men’s and women’s competitions is declared the Country Champion.
The Australian Women’s Masters Hockey Championships is an annual competition, first played in 1984, between states and territories across seven age divisions: Over 35, Over 40, Over 45, Over 50, Over 55, Over 60 and Over 65.
Australian representative teams are selected and announced at the end of the Championships.
Both the Trans-Tasman Masters Hockey Challenge and Australian Women’s Masters Hockey Championships are significant tournaments in terms of participation and will see thousands of people travel to the Gold Coast boosting local businesses.
The Trans-Tasman Hockey Challenge brings together approximately 608 participants across players, coaches, support staff and officials, while the Australian Women’s Masters Hockey Championships attract approximately 41 teams and a total of 900 participants across players, coaches, support staff and officials.
Favier added: “We’re delighted to have a 2019 home venue confirmed for both the Trans-Tasman Masters Hockey Challenge and the Australian Women’s Masters Hockey Championships which will be major tourism boosts for the local Gold Coast community and maintain the region’s connection with Hockey.”