10 July 2024

Griffith’s first ever state hockey representative to captain NSW in Tasmania

| Oliver Jacques
Start the conversation
Andrew Sinclair with a hockey stick

Andrew Sinclair will captain the NSW side in Tasmania. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

Veteran Griffith hockey player and coach Andrew Sinclair will captain a NSW team in the national over 50s championship in Tasmania, which commences on Friday (12 July).

The midfielder will become the first ever player from this town to represent a state team in the sport, at any level.

Region caught up with Mr Sinclair to find out about the tournament and hockey in Griffith.

How did you make the NSW side?

I’ve been playing hockey for many years but had been focused more on coaching and junior development. But I turn 50 this year so thought I’d give it a crack.

I was fortunate enough to get selected at the state championship seven weeks ago in Newcastle.

They picked two NSW sides and I’m captaining the 50s and over, twos side.

How does the championship in Tasmania work?

Each state normally has a side. We are playing against Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and there’s also the ACT in the other division.

It’s a round robin that starts on Friday, then there’s the finals when we play for a medal. There’s also a chance for national selection.

Is hockey similar in structure to soccer?

It is. Though we don’t have offside, and you can’t score from outside the circle. We also have corners but we have long corners from the 25. You won’t see the ball passed along the backline for long periods like in soccer; hockey is very much a moving game.

How much has hockey benefited from having a specialist turf ground at the Griffith Regional Sports Centre?

These days, you don’t stay relevant if you don’t have the proper venue. It’s been fantastic for the town, to play the modern game effectively you need something like this. We are lucky to have it. We’re getting a lot more interest; it shows if you build it they will come. It’s also good for anyone who wants to play multiple sports; you can also do netball and basketball here.

hockey ground

Mr Sinclair says the Griffith Regional Sports Centre hockey turf ground has helped the sport grow. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

What sort of attributes do you need to play hockey?

Hockey is a bit of an equaliser. You might not be the fastest kid, but if you’ve got good hand-eye coordination and you’re keen, it brings everyone back to the same sort of level. It’s a hard game to conquer if you’re new to it but if you stick with it, you’ll be right.

Why don’t we hear about hockey as much as other sports?

It’s an amateur sport; it doesn’t have the same profile as the football codes, so the money isn’t injected in it. There’s so many sports in Griffith too. But we encompass all walks of life; from a participation level we welcome everyone.

READ ALSO Six-foot Griffith Blacks winger scores two tries on rep debut in Brumbies Provincial Championships

What can someone do if they want to give the sport a try?

You don’t have to wait for next season. If someone wants to have a go, you can come any Saturday and introduce yourself and have a try; you don’t have to register and blow all your money straight away. You can see if it’s right for you.

Can Australia win gold in hockey at the Paris Olympics?

It’s been a while since we won gold. But we’re always a shot. India, Pakistan, the Dutch, New Zealand and Spain are all strong too, so it’s very competitive.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.