Orange is gearing up to host one of the state’s biggest indoor hockey tournaments this weekend as the under-13 state championships come to town from Friday to Monday.
Over 30 teams from all over the state will assemble at Sir Neville Howse stadium as the PCYC is transformed into an indoor hockey centre.
Orange will have four teams – two boys and two girls – competing at the state titles, with two of the teams in division two and two development sides in division three.
Girls’ division two coach Annie Pakinga said it was an exciting time for indoor hockey in Orange.
“I think playing at a home ground gives the girls that extra boost to want to win,” she said.
“For the development squad there are lots of players in there who are only 10 years old, so they’re playing in under 13s three years above what they could be playing.”
Trent Wilde will be coaching the girls’ development squad, but in a quirk Pakinga will be his assistant coach, and he will be her assistant for the division two team.
It does take quite a lot to get it to happen and be here.Annie Pakinga
She – as well as all the players – have spent large swathes of weekends preparing for the tournament.
“You’ve got to love hockey to do it, it is pretty big, it’s full state so all states are here which is big for the town,” she said.
“It shows their commitment and love of the sport and wanting to do the town proud.”
They did Orange proud last year, as the girls finished second in division two and the top boys’ team also made a finals appearance.
Pakinga said it would be a great opportunity for her girls to watch other high-profile teams in action and learn from them.
“Some of the girls that I coached with Hockey NSW will be here coaching in division one and they can head across and watch them as well,” she said.
“Improvement and development, it’s all about development, it’s nice to win but we need to make sure they enjoy themselves enough to come back.”
She said it was a fantastic effort by Orange’s hockey community to get the tournament together, and would also prove a big boost to Orange’s indoor hockey competition.
“It does take quite a lot to get it to happen and be here, Kate Pullbrook and Darren Davis and their crew have done a lot of work to make it happen,” she said.
Orange’s boys squad is in a pool alongside Dubbo, Coffs Harbour, Sydney East and Port Macquarie, while the girls will play Sydney South, Parkes, North-West Sydney and Sydney East.
Games commence 8am Friday, with finals on Monday.
- Team # 1 girls: Addison Chapman, Tess Driver, Dakota Duffy, Jess Healey, Lily Erskine, Phoebe Poole, Karlee Bell, Taylah Hobbs
- Team #2 girls: Hayley Lee, Stella Davis, Heidi Zwiers, Jessica Zwiers, Ellie Bradford, Monique Jackson, Jordan Davis, Trinity Andrews, Cassidy Hanrahan,
- Team #1 boys: Luke Dominello, Bailey Morris, Ky Hurst, Charlie Tink, Nate Davis, Oliver Livingstone, Riley Burridge, Harry Priest, Bailey Barrett, Jackson Essex
- Team #2 boys: Tully Livingstone, Ethan McDonald, Charlie Manuel, William McManus, Jackson Davis, Luke Hogarth, Jake Hurst, Mark Jachi, Hunter Hobbs, Riley Dane
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