Action from the Ipswich A-grade hockey match between Norths and Wests on April 3.
Action from the Ipswich A-grade hockey match between Norths and Wests on April 3. Carl Groenewald

YOUR SAY: Sunday hockey matches provide better opportunities

I WOULD like to offer another perspective to the Inside Edge comments in Thursday's QT, in relation to hockey being played on Saturdays.

Hockey has to do what it can to attract players and needs to work with other hockey associations close by, to grow our sport in Ipswich.

The QT, if it wants to continue to promote local sports, needs to help associations. Overall I do believe that David Lems does his best to do exactly that but as was pointed out he can't be everywhere at the same time.

The fault is with QT staffing levels, not with the scheduling of Ipswich Hockey Association games. Perhaps the QT needs to put on more sports staff.

My other point is in relation to the clash on Sundays with other football codes. Hockey has always had A-grade games on Saturday and Sundays in the past, so other than there being less A-grade games on Saturdays, we have always had games on Sunday afternoons. It seems other football codes take priority over sports such as hockey.

Your comments suggest that hockey must be the sport that changes scheduling to ensure they get any media coverage by the QT.

Have these other football codes been asked to do the same thing? Are they also being expected to change scheduling to ensure the QT can give fair coverage?

If there is a clash each week, as suggested, shouldn't there be some sort of roster so that every second or third week the spotlight can be placed on a different sport therefore ensuring fair coverage across all sports in Ipswich?

You touched on the Brisbane hockey competition and this is very much an issue. The Brisbane competition is the strongest in the state and any players wanting to improve their game, or improve their chances of higher representative honours, have to play in Brisbane. Ipswich has strongly supported players having the opportunity to play in both the Ipswich and Brisbane competition as it is the best for the players and means Ipswich Hockey will see a better standard of players in our local competition.

Toowoomba and Gold Coast, I am led to believe, have all their A-grade (higher division grades) playing on Sunday afternoons so their players can play in  Brisbane.

For those players that feel they may have had to leave their associations to further their hockey careers, it provides them with the opportunity to still play with the associations they love. It's the best of both worlds.

We have a strong number of Ipswich players playing in the Brisbane competition, which is promoting our association to other Brisbane players. As a result, there have been some players coming to play in Ipswich as well.

If we can tell these Brisbane players they will only play on Sundays in Ipswich it means we may attract more players to play in Ipswich and this will continue to keep our association strong.

The Ipswich Hockey Association, and in particular the Ipswich Hockey Association RAP team, are working very hard to promote hockey and grow hockey in Ipswich. They have to contend with a lot of difficult problems in relation to scheduling.

The QT has always in the past given hockey a good profile in its sports pages.

Hopefully the QT can come up with some other solutions to the problem knowing that scheduling, unfortunately, is more than just catering for media coverage.

Kerri Michel

Sport ed's note: You make some valid points Kerri, especially about being able to play in the Brisbane competition and the benefits of that. But never have I said hockey is treated any less than other sports. Nor have I said we will stop covering hockey. On the contrary, I take every opportunity to provide regular stories, even limited by the current scheduling arrangements.

Sunday is a massive day in Ipswich sport and anything associations can do to spread their scheduling over two days is much appreciated.

In answer to your question about other sports helping, state league basketball games are regularly scheduled on Saturday as is at least one Ipswich Rugby League match. This helps the QT to provide consistent coverage of those major codes.

My column highlighted how much I enjoy covering hockey and how it would be helpful to have more matches on Saturdays to ease the Sunday bottleneck.

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