Hockey caters for all ages and levels of ability

TRY IT OUT: Everyone from young children to older adults can play hockey.
TRY IT OUT: Everyone from young children to older adults can play hockey.

With five clubs in the Sutherland Shire and around 1000 players, the Sydney South Hockey Association is open to everyone.

Players range in age from five to mid-70s and the game offers something for all levels of ability.

Marketing director Scott Tully said whether it's "just for fun" or based on a desire to one day represent Australia, the association has it covered.

"Hockey is a game that suits all levels and our players reflect that," Mr Tully said. "We have had many kids start as five-year-olds playing local hockey who are now NSW representative players."

He said hockey was a "friendly game" that allowed children to learn new skills.

"Hockey gets kids out of the home, away from devices and into a friendly and healthy environment," he said.

"The hockey community is relatively small, compared to some sports, which means people know each other and are happy to help each other.

"We regularly see coaches helping to develop kids and their skills whether they play for the same club or a different one."

Sydney South Hockey Association is the oldest continually running association in Sydney with clubs dating back to the 1950s and 60s. It offers the opportunity for players to participate at higher levels and fields junior, open age and masters team in Hockey NSW state championships.

"These provide players a great opportunity to play with a different group of people to their club teams while also enabling them to visit and play in different towns across NSW," Mr Tully said.

"Hockey is a strong sport in country NSW and our representative teams regularly travel to towns such as Bathurst and Newcastle.

"By playing representative hockey, our best players are regularly selected to represent NSW at Australian championships."

And those who think hockey is a dangerous game can rest assured that's not the case.

Mr Tully said it was actually safer than many other sports. "It is a smooth flowing game that doesn't involve the stop/start of other games that can lead to ankle and knee injuries, while rough physical contact between players is not part of the game," he said.

"Our younger players use soft, age-specific balls which minimise the risk of injury and the game's rules are designed to keep everyone safe."

Registration for the 2020 season opens online in early February with the season starting in late March.

The association will run an open mixed pre-season social competition in February for anyone who would like to try the game. Details: email marketing@sydneysouthhockey.com.au or go to sydneysouthhockey.com.au.

SAFE OPTION: Playing equipment and rules are designed to ensure younger players enjoy the game.

SAFE OPTION: Playing equipment and rules are designed to ensure younger players enjoy the game.

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