The future of hockey in Launceston is in doubt following major concerns regarding dwindling numbers in the sport.
Hockey Tasmania board chairman Ken Read addressed the "difficult problem" within the governing organisation's annual report and spoke exclusively of the dangers the game is facing.
"The two major things we are concerned about are the diminishing numbers within the Launceston game and the fact that the same group of volunteers have been running things for a significant amount of time and have probably reached the end of their tether," Read said.
"The other thing is the state of the facility at St Leonards - it's not up to scratch. They desperately need some infusion of public money."
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Launceston has a rich history within the sport and has produced several international players including Tim Deavin and Nick Budgeon, but Read believes the better players within Tasmania don't view the Greater Northern League as a competition of high standard, meaning the move to the Hobart-based Premier League is an inevitability.
He said this is contributing to diminishing numbers as younger players in the North are deprived of role models that the higher standard provides.
Within the report, Read confirms that the board are searching for options.
"One of the solutions that we looked at is the possibility of some sort of statewide competition. Now it's just simply not possible to have a fully-fledged statewide competition and it would be detrimental to Northern and North-West hockey if we were to do something like that.
"If we were to move to some sort of FA Cup-style where you have a knockout competition that is played through the season, that is a possibility."
Read said at least one Launceston team has contemplated joining the Hobart competition but believes the logistics would be too much for an individual entity in the Premier League.
With St Leonards' Northern Hockey centre set to host next year's under-18 national championships, the hunt for facility upgrade funding is caught in a catch 22 with numbers not attracting the money needed.
"The whole of St Leonards is an important sport and public health space and it's not been given funding over the years. It's one of the things we are working on - trying to engage with Launceston City Council and government to try and upgrade those facilities, but the difficulty is if you've got dwindling numbers it's hard to convince public authorities to invest.
"You have poor facilities, people don't want to go there but if people don't go there, you don't have the numbers to convince the government to invest."
Despite the doom and gloom surrounding Launceston's future, Hockey Tasmania Northern competition committee convener Lynette Stebbings believes the right steps are being taken by their organisation to grow the game from the ground up.
"The Northern competition committee are certainly focusing on player development. Sub-committees have been implemented again to focus on attracting and retaining juniors," Stebbings said.
"On a state front, we have three boys in the under-13s side which is an increase from last year and there were certainly more numbers trialing for the June long weekend tournament in which the competitiveness of Northern sides has improved and our standards have picked up."
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