TWT EXCLUSIVE: PANTHER POWER! Ryde Hockey celebrates new home ground win

Ryde MP Victor Dominello and Lane Cove MP Anthony Roberts with Ryde Hunters Hill Panthers president Glen Castensen and Ryde Hockey players Georgia Graham, Aaron Pereira, Hockeyroos rep Mikaela Patterson and Lachlan Pereira at last Friday’s announcement at Keith Thompson Hockey Centre. TWT On-the-Spot PHOTO

RYDE HUNTERS HILL Hockey Panthers are celebrating one of the greatest wins in the club’s history with a new two field home ground announced last Friday.

Lane Cove MP Anthony Roberts and Ryde MP Victor Dominello said the two hockey fields are proposed for Christie Park in Macquarie Park with the Panthers’ Keith Thompson Field in Macquarie Park to make way for the grounds of a new school at the neighbouring former Peter Board High School site.

The Panthers’ Patron and The Weekly Times Managing Editor John F Booth AM had lobbied the government to get the extra field our growing number of local hockey juniors need and is celebrating the win alongside Club President Glen Castensen who described the deal as a landmark in the club’s 80 year history.

“This is wonderful news for the Ryde Hockey Club and a landmark achievement for the Ryde community,” Mr Castensen said.

“It is very satisfying to see our player development programs and our reputation on the world stage being matched by the proposed relocation to a much-needed dual field, first-class hockey centre and home ground.”

Mr Roberts and Mr Dominello said the State government will seek to buy vacant land next to the adjoining former Peter Board High School to build the new high school and possibly a primary school.

The proposed deal is estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars.

““More and more families are calling Ryde home,” Mr Dominello said.

“The current site will be redeveloped into a new high school and the relocation will provide the NSW Government with greater opportunity to expand local education opportunities.”

He said he hoped the new high school – and possibly a new primary school – will be built within four years.

Ryde-Hunters Hill Hockey Club’s Hockeyroos representative and Senior Club Captain Mikaela Patterson with top Panthers juniors Aaron Pereira, 17; Lachlan Pereira, 14 and Georgia Graham, 17. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO.

 

THE HOME base of the Ryde Hunters Hill Hockey Panthers in Macquarie Park is to be demolished to make way for a new school in a deal which will see it replaced by two new synthetic hockey fields at Christie Park.

The fate of the Keith Thompson Field was announced last Friday by Lane Cove MP Anthony Roberts and Ryde MP Victor Dominello who said the state government will seek to buy vacant land next to the adjoining former Peter Board High School to build the new high school and possibly a primary school.

The two MPs stopped short of revealing the cost of the deal, estimated to be worth millions of dollars.

It was welcomed by Panthers Club President Glen Castensen who described it as a landmark win.

Mr Dominello said Christie Park has been identified as the “preferred location” and his hope is that money will be made available to have both schools built within four years.

He said the community will have a say in the new school’s name and he assured hockey players the new fields would have adequate parking and facilities.

“Hockey is a much loved sport in the community, so it makes sense to provide players and supporters with a more modern, fit-for-purpose facility,” Mr Dominello said.

“More and more families are calling Ryde home and a new site will help cater for increased growth.

“The current site will be redeveloped into a new high school and the relocation will provide the NSW Government with greater opportunity to expand the educational offerings.”

Mr Robert’s blamed previous Labor governments for the closure of Peter Board High School and described the announcement as a buy-back.

“The previous Labor government failed to sell off Hunters Hill High School so it sold off this school instead,” he said.

Nearby Christie Park is home to many of Ryde’s junior and women’s soccer teams and Mr Roberts said it made sense to relocate hockey there.

“It will now be easier for mums and dads to take their children to hockey, as well as soccer.”

The two MPs said the announced proposed deal is backed by a memorandum of understanding between the government and the club.

Mr Castensen said the Keith Thompson Field had seen some great days since it was opened in 1994 which has produced champions and was an Olympic training venue but could not accommodate the recent growth in Hockey’s popularity.

“This is a wonderful day for the Ryde Hockey Club and a landmark achievement for the community of Ryde,” he said.

“Our Club has been a strong and inclusive part of the district for over 80 years and with today’s announcement by the Ministers, our engagement with the community will continue for many, many more decades to come.”

The Weekly Times Managing Editor John F Booth is the club patron.

“Our Club is the largest hockey club in NSW offering participation and programs across all ages for women and men, girls and boys, ” Mr Castensen said.

“Hockey is also a leading international sport with high levels of grassroots participation across many nations,” Mr Castensen said.

“Internationally we are recognised for our junior development program and the high number of elite players we regularly produce.

“With today’s announcement, it is very satisfying to see our engagement in the Ryde community, our player development programs and our reputation on the world stage being matched by the proposed relocation to a much-needed dual field, first-class hockey centre and home ground.”