Region to deliver full player elite Hockey pathway



Hockey Central Vic (HCV) is delighted to announce the formation of a partnership with Hockey Victoria streamlining pathways for hockey participants across our region to reach the highest level possible. HCV together with neighbouring associations has agreed to align to a Hockey Victoria (HV) proposal and form a new regional club, North West Lightning in 2019 for our representative sides.

Importantly this was agreed with other associations across the wider region after significant discussions with HV, HCV club presidents, past and current CV Blazers representatives and within HCV Committee of Management. The newly formed club would play in Vic League 1 for both Men’s and Women’s and U16 Mixed shield side for the 2019 season.

The new entity (North West Lightning) will be separated from HCV Committee of Management and will be governed with input from all participating associations. The new entity will set its own strategic and operational intent and align to the HV Regional Strategy (including HV pathways). This will allow HCV Committee of Management to focus on our grass roots competition and support our member clubs more closely.

Creating the new entity will:

  • formally broaden the catchment for a regional representative team
  • unite pathways across associations from JSC to Senior Elite teams
  • offer ongoing Hockey Academy support from HV
  • bring the Men’s team into VL1 and maintain a men’s reserve team
  • provide independent management and governance from HCV
  • require a name reflective of the Region and new uniforms

HCV will lead the formation of the new club as a totally separate entity to the HCV Committee of Management over 2019 and with HV have agreed to appoint former HCV representative player and current HCV Committee of Management member, Ross Evans to oversee this process. A process which will involve many discussions over the coming weeks and months.

An important note - HV has agreed that the new entity, once established, will determine the most appropriate name for the new team in season 2020.

Who does it impact?

All current CV Blazers players and officials, and HCV Committee of Management.

Why have HCV Committee of Management agreed to the proposal?

HCV Committee of Management believes that alignment provides the best long-term option for local players to participant at the highest levels in Hockey Victorian Competitions. It opens up a wider playing and support base for the evolution of the new entity similar to the previous evolution from Bendigo to CV.

The decision from HV positions both the team and HCV competition in the best possible place to ensure future success. We acknowledge there will be challenges, and we know that together we can meet them and strive to achieve success at the highest levels. Part of the underlying rationale is to strive to achieve Premier League status (in the Women’s case ‘again’) within the next 3-5 years.  This decision provides acceleration for this vision to be achieved. It defines junior pathway options. It allows for a structure to be in place to attract talent and investment into the sport. 

Context and Consultation

Consultation - We have strategically consulted across HCV with all the Club Presidents, current and former Blazers players and administrators, five other associations, a selection of our Life Members, external sports persons. 87% of those consulted were in favour of the opportunity. Current men’s and women’s players were informed of the possibility of this opportunity prior to Christmas.

This decision has not been made lightly and has been made in line with HCV’s purpose statement aligned in our constitution (see below).

The purposes for which the Incorporated Association of the HOCKEY CENTRAL VIC INCORPORATED is established are:

(a) promote the development of hockey, encourage involvement at all levels and provide a safe environment in which participants can achieve their potential in hockey.

(b) to manage, maintain, control and promote the operation of hockey facilities within Central Victoria, without limitation of place.

(c) At all times act on behalf of and in the interest of the members and hockey

HCV acknowledge that everyone will not agree with this decision and do understand the points of view that have been presented to us in our consultations however believe the positives outweigh the negatives and not proceeding would be seen as not fulfilling our obligations as HCV representatives.

Where to from here?

How we transition is vitally important and for this to be successful, we need a single view and a united group. Equally important is acknowledging and celebrating our past. Maintaining the history, culture and spirit is a must.  We must also open ourselves up to the other associations (and their players) that have agreed to move forward with us. 

This is new and exciting, and we are still working though the finer details. We will be holding an information session including a QnA session in the next few weeks. The formal launch of the new club is proposed to take place in March.


HV CEO, Andrew Skillern “this aligns to HV’s model for future investment in elite hockey in Regional Victoria”

HCV President, Glenn Pomeroy “it increases the reputation as Bendigo and the broader region being a centre of choice for hockey players rather than having to move or travel to play in Melbourne” … “longer term we see this decision providing the platform to create a Premier League team to be based in here in Bendigo that engages across our entire Region”

HCV Secretary, Dale Boyd “Programs HV are to deliver in addition will provide structured pathways for a 10 year old player, girl or boy, from juniors all the way through to Vic League and beyond”

HCV Elite Programs Michael Jude “This provides a platform for the North Western associations to begin working together with a common goal and the decision is a testament to the hard work Jordan Tamblyn, new Men’s Senior Coach has put into recruitment engaging local and regional players that have been playing elsewhere over the last few years from our region”

HCV Pathways, Mel Tranter “Provides a more open and inviting platform for regional kids to progress in their chosen sport”

HCV Facilities, Ross Evans “We will really get to use and showcase the world class facilities Bendigo has to offer”

HCV Treasurer, Rob Rossiter “Eases the strain on an already busy HCV committee of management giving them the opportunity to use increased resources to provide hockey administration to the grass roots across Hockey Central Vic”