Hockey is alive and well on the Border with an eight-week social twilight competition starting on Tuesday at Albury Hockey Centre.
A successful hockey eights season recently wrapped up and was well supported despite being limited to NSW residents because of COVID-19 restrictions.
However, Hockey Albury-Wodonga is thrilled to welcome back its Victorian-based members for twilight matches.
Former Norths player Danny Hicks returned to the sport last year in the twilight format and has put together a team varying in hockey experience.
"Ours is a family team with mums and sons, dads and daughters, husbands and wives. It's a big mix," Hicks said.
"I played years ago and had some injuries and gave it away, but now my kids are playing so I've started coaching.
"It's nice to get the chance to play with my kids in the twilight comp.
"I think all of our team is involved at Norths apart from those that don't play regularly.
"I played twilight last year and before that I filled in for the odd game, but I hadn't played for 10 to 15 years.
"It's a good community down there and everyone knows everyone.
"Everyone gets along so it's not a bad place to socialise."
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Given a lot of sports were wiped out by the pandemic during winter, Hicks is glad to still have the chance to get some hockey in this year.
"A lot of sports still can't play at all, so it's good that we can actually get out there and have a run around," he said.
"Anyone that wanted a game could get out there and have a bit of fun.
"It usually finishes just shy of Christmas, so we'll get eight weeks or so in.
"My daughter would play all year if she could, it's just an extension to the normal season really.
"I think the Victorians that haven't been allowed out will be all chomping at the bit to get out there."
While it's regarded as a social competition, Hicks said matches can be quite competitive.
"Butwhen you come up against teams with kids and younger ones you tend to tone it down a bit and make sure they get a touch," he added.
Nominations for teams closed on Sunday night with 14 received.
Hockey Albury-Wodonga sport operations manager Cayte Campbell is hopeful of getting through the eight weeks of play without any interruptions.
"It's designed to be social and for new players to come along and try hockey. It's a chance for parents and kids to play together or players from different clubs to come together," she said.