HUNDREDS of hockey players from around the state have converged on Tamworth for the 12th annual York Cup and Kim Small Shield this weekend.
A record 34 Under 11 sides have arrived for the tournament which began in 2003 with only five sides.
A skills clinic kicked off the tournament yesterday morning with Michael York himself at the helm along with Hockey NSW’s Blair Chalmers and many more.
York brings his own team, the Canberra Bunyips, every year but is happy to share his knowledge with all players.
This year the 18 girls’ teams and 16 boys’ teams will also get a taste of indoor hockey.
Carnival convener Graeme McKenzie said the players would all get an opportunity to have a game of indoor at the Sports Dome over the weekend.
“We have the same record numbers as last year although the boys’ and girls’ numbers have swapped,” McKenzie said.
While the Cup and Shield are the goals for all teams and players, the weekend is a major part of grassroots hockey in the state.
“This weekend is all about development for both individual players and teams,” McKenzie said.
“It is a great opportunity to play inter-association hockey and learn some new skills.”
This year, Tamworth has entered five sides across the divisions.
A full weekend of hockey will culminate in the York Cup Division One final at 1.40pm tomorrow.
Entry is free for spectators.