THE weathered shipping containers that have been part of the Port Macquarie-Hastings Hockey Association over the years won't be missed.
This week they will be removed as construction starts on a new clubhouse that will allow the association to bid for state and national events in coming years.
It's not before time after thousands of dollars worth of equipment had to be destroyed due to leaks in the roof whenever it rained.
Association president Simon Thresher admitted it had been a long time coming, but they were now excited about the prospect of bidding for more high-profile sporting tournaments.
"We can start to attract events to town such as the state championships and national championships potentially."Simon Thresher
The state-of-the-art clubhouse would include men's and women's change rooms and centrally located amenities as well as disability-compliant areas.
Over 170 square metres of viewing platforms will also be included as well as more than 70 parking spaces which will be built on the western side of the complex.
"It creates a sense of belonging where people can actually congregate rather than before where you played your game and then nicked off," he said.
"We're a bit different to other sports in that they've got facilities all over the region, but this is the only spot for hockey.
"At the other end of the scale we can start to attract events to town such as the state championships and national championships potentially."
The 2021 season will be effected with cars to be moved to the eastern side.
"It's one of those things that the government does - provides the funding for community development."Federal member for Cowper Pat Conaghan
"It will be like it was a few years ago with only pedestrian access coming through the facility; short-term pain for long-term gain."
His family has a history of helping with construction for sporting clubs.
"My grandfather had a lot to do with the construction of the Lake Cathie Bowling Club, my dad built the rugby clubhouse for the Pirates and now I'm coming in as the third generation and building a hockey clubhouse," he said.
"It's a pretty good legacy."
Federal member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said construction started on April 12 - two years to the day since the federal government's funding announcement of $1.45million.
The association will also contribute $100,000.
"It's through the community development grants and the club put in an application and it's one of those things that the government does - provides the funding for community development.
"We recognise that by having a clubhouse will bring competition and if you bring people into town, it brings more money into town," he said.
"The money then goes through the local economy through the cafes, restaurants and hotels."
Mr Conaghan said it was only fitting that the playing surface was matched by the facilities around it.
"The fields are first-class so why shouldn't they have a first-class clubhouse? And that's exactly what they're going to have."
Construction is expected to be finished by Christmas.
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