by Mitchell Craig
THE red, white and black colours of Alstonville Hockey Club have been around since 1929 but the club needs to boost its junior ranks ahead of the upcoming season.
As one of the oldest hockey clubs still playing in the region, it is steeped in tradition. However during the past few years the number of junior players has been diminishing.
Whether it's kids moving to other clubs or converting to other sports, Alstonville Hockey Club have been feeling the pinch.
In years gone by they have had teams in each age division in the Far North Coast competition, but now they are struggling to put together junior teams.
"They have often played with fewer numbers or played in a higher grade due to combining age groups,” club secretary Maria Morton said.
"But they have all held their heads high and given their all. They never complain but just get on with the task at hand, which is to play hockey.
"This year they urgently need players to make both a Minkey (Under-8) and an Under-13s team.
"They have a group of very eager and willing Under-13 year players who are looking for other young people to come and join them on the field.
"They have wonderful and very patient coaches who give up their time each week and weekend to teach kids the skills of hockey.”
The club has a large selection of second-hand equipment for anyone who is willing to give hockey a go.
Some parents are willing to pass on equipment they no longer need.
If you are a boy or girl aged between 9-13 yrs. (or anyone who is interested in playing in senior divisions) call Maria Morton on 0439790504 or club president Marc Ward on 0408899573.
Juniors play Saturday mornings at Goonellabah or Ballina. Alstonville juniors train at Goonellabah turf each Tuesday between 4.30-5.30pm.