THE Tamworth community has the opportunity to benefit from upgrade works being carried out at the Tamworth hockey fields.
As works begin on Tamworth's brand-new third pitch, the Olympia pitch is being resurfaced and Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) is allowing locals to claim their share of the old surface.
Since expressions of interest opened last week, 25 residents have put their name forward to take home a piece of Tamworth's sporting history.
Northern Inland Centre of Sporting Excellence project manager (stage two) Claire Turnor said the old surface could be used for a variety of purposes.
"The interest has been from a range of people including individuals, schools and sporting groups," Turnor said.
"The surface could be used for anything that people can think up with lots of different possibilities.
"So far, submissions have related to sports practices areas, decorative placement, dust suppression and around facilities to minimise slip hazards."
The Tamworth Hockey Complex works are part of the $9.6 million second stage of the Northern Inland Centre of Sporting Excellence.
Tamworth's major project is funded by $7.2 million from the NSW Government, $1.636 million from TRC and $800,000 from the Tamworth Hockey Association.
"The addition of a third water-based synthetic hockey field will make Tamworth one of only six complexes in Australia with the capability to host state and national championships," Turnor said.
"The building works will provide the supporting facilities needed to host these championships."
As well the construction of a third field, both existing pitches will be resurfaced along with the construction of a new building that will house new toilets, unisex change rooms for players and match officials.
On top of that, construction will also include facilities for people with a disability, a verandah extension to the existing clubhouse as well as additional car parking spaces.
Turnor said the upgrade would have positive impacts throughout the Tamworth sporting community.
"The local Hockey community will benefit greatly from the additional field providing more flexibility for competition and training," she said.
"The current two fields are booked every afternoon and weekend and even some mornings during the hockey season.
"In addition to nurturing our local players, this facility will help attract exciting new events to our region which deliver a boost to our local economy."
Expressions of interest close for the first round of the old surface close on December 6 and can be filed via the TRC website.