Focus is on youth for region’s new coaching co-ordinator
BALLINA hockey player Tony Meldrum wants to score a few off-field goals to get more people on to hockey fields in the Far North Coast.
He was recently appointed as Hockey NSW's regional coaching co-ordinator for the Far North Coast, taking in clubs in Ballina, Coraki and Lismore.
He said his focus was to encourage more young people to take up hockey and to keep players in the 16 to 19-year-old age group in the game.
He has some local backing too, with former Australian captain, Warren Birmingham who grew up in Coraki and now lives at Lennox Head. He is Hockey NSW's coaching director and current coach of the State women's side.
Birmingham said there were about 30,000 people playing hockey in NSW and the Far North Coast already had a "strong junior base".
Hockey NSW has introduced an Athlete Accelerator Program for 16 to 19-year-olds, and the Far North Coast this year will have 20 players in the 128 selected for that program.
It aims to give regional players the same access to coaches and training that city players have.
Meldrum started playing hockey at age eight in Tamworth. He said the game had given him a lot of enjoyment over the years, and he had made plenty of friends. His aim is to run programs in schools.
To get in contact with Tony Meldrum, phone 0447 186 134 or email: t.meldrum@ hockeynsw. com.au.