Warkworth has formed a second hockey club.
The existing Mahurangi Hockey Club practises on Auckland’s North Shore and most of its members are based there, which has left a gap in the sport locally.
The new club – Warkworth Hockey Club – will provide locals with the opportunity to practise locally, but still play at a competitive level.
Founder Graham Buchs says the two clubs are complimentary.
“It’s all about supporting the growth of hockey,” Buchs says.
The social grade league at the Warkworth hockey turf is in its fourth season and saw such an influx of keen players that eventually a discussion began over whether to start a club.
Monique Hatfull and Graham Buchs.
“We decided 2019 was the year to do it, so six of us got together around a table and made it happen.
There was a lot of enthusiasm from local players to take it further, as the turf is right in town and North Harbour is only 45 minutes away.”
Normally, a new club has to start in the bottom division, but the men’s team has been given special dispensation to play in Division 1. This was because an opening was made available when Mahurangi Hockey won the Division 1 competition last year and moved up to Premier 3.
The women’s team will start in Division 3.
The new club’s men’s team has already won its first game of the season against Hibiscus Dairy Flats, but Buchs says there is still a way to go.
“The Hibiscus teams have five years on us and a very strong base with only a few fringe players under development. Our teams are made up of players from four social teams and some young guys from Mahurangi College.”
Buchs says the club’s entry into the North Harbour competition has been positive, with Auckland clubs saying they would be happy to play on the Warkworth Turf.
The two teams are in good shape, thanks to fitness regimes organised for the players by Warkworth Fitness and gear funded through a donation from Mason Containers.