On 20th March, Hockey Victoria (HV) made the decision to postpone the 2020 Junior State Championships (JSC) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, HV has continually assessed information released by the relevant health authorities and considered possible alternate dates to run the 2020 JSC later this year.
With hockey activities beginning to restart across the state, we believe it is the right time to release an update on the JSC.
In consultation with key stakeholders and based on information from the relevant authorities, HV has made some preliminary decisions in relation to the 2020 JSC. We would like to provide the following updates (reserving our right to change their status based on future advice from relevant authorities):
- By COB Wednesday 1st July Hockey Victoria will make a final decision with regards to whether there will be a JSC conducted in 2020.
- Should the decision be made to proceed with the 2020 JSC, the following will take place:
- The 2020 event would be held in Metropolitan Melbourne (venues to be confirmed)
- It would be played in the Term 3 school holidays (final dates to be determined)
- If the decision is made on the 1st July to proceed with holding the event, the trials would need to take place on either Sunday 19th July or Sunday 26th July (TBC).
- A revised date for player nominations closing would be set, so too for coach nominations and officials’ expressions of interest.
- The event would be condensed to three days, rather than the traditional four days.
- Dependent on team entries and any size of gatherings restrictions, it may be that the Event is held across three venues, with each age group potentially allocated to a particular venue for the three days.
- There will be a reduction in the total training sessions for all Zones, reducing the commitment to be involved.
- A review of the player participation fees will be conducted and we will look for opportunities that allow us to make a reduction to the fee in 2020.
- Should, on the 1st July, the decision be made not to conduct the 2020 JSC, further information will be released in relation to refunds of any player nomination fees that may have been paid.
Originally the 2020 JSC was scheduled to be held in Regional Victoria, with the girl’s section in Bendigo and the boy’s section in Shepparton. In consultation with the City of Greater Bendigo and Greater Shepparton City Council the decision has been made to postpone these plans and take the event to these locations in 2021.
HV would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the City of Greater Bendigo and the Greater Shepparton City Council, as well as Hockey Central Vic and Goulburn Valley Hockey Association for their cooperation and understanding in these difficult circumstances. However, we now look forward to planning an even bigger and better event with them in 2021.
(Please see below for statements from City of Greater Bendigo and Greater Shepparton City Council)
We would also like to thank the Zone Coordinators of all ten Zones for their assistance and feedback since the decision was made to postpone the event in March and we look forward to continuing to work with you over the coming weeks.
In the meantime, we hope that you stay safe and we look forward to providing you with another update again on Wednesday 1st July.
Statement from Terry Karamaloudis, Manager Tourism and Major Events City of Greater Bendigo
“We look forward to hosting the Junior State Championships in Bendigo in 2021, when participants and supporters can enjoy the best of what our wonderful city has to offer.
“We expect the new pavilion at the Garden Gully Hockey Precinct to be completed by 2021, which will mean participants will enjoy a brand-new state of the art facility complimenting the high-quality pitches that have hosted numerous international matches over recent years.”
Statement from Cr Seema Abdullah, Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Cr Seema Abdullah said the region was looking forward to the return of the Hockey Victoria State Championships in 2021.
“Council is excited to be partnering with Hockey Victoria to deliver this event next year, giving Greater Shepparton the opportunity to allow our home-grown players to compete at a state level on their own patch,” Cr Abdullah said.
“It is a great accomplishment that the $21 million redevelopment of the Shepparton Sports City precinct has enabled us to host amazing events such as this that attract so many people from around Victoria and the nation to play hockey in Greater Shepparton.
“We’re looking forward to working with Hockey Victoria and the Goulburn Valley Hockey Association to deliver a first-class event in 2021 and continue to enhance our reputation as the sporting and event capital of regional Australia.
“We thank Hockey Victoria for honouring their commitment to bring this event to Shepparton and regional Victoria. Significant events such as this will bring a much-needed boost to our community and local businesses.”