A NEW Olympic standard hockey pitch has been officially opened in Bendigo.
City of Greater Bendigo mayor Barry Lyons along with members of Hockey Central Victoria formally opened the new facility on Sunday.
The new Garden Gully Hockey Complex is a state-of-the-art pitch.
The wet-based synthetic surface is the first of its kind in Victoria.
Mayor Barry Lyons said the pitch was a great asset for the greater Bendigo region.
“The pitch confirms greater Bendigo’s reputation as the sporting capital of regional Victoria,” he said.
“It is used to full capacity every day of the week by the more than 800 registered junior and senior hockey players across central Victoria and will help attract a range of local, state and national competitions that can be played at an international standard.”
Hockey Central Victoria project co-ordinator Julian Hood said the new pitch had already received positive feedback from players.
“Players are thrilled with the new surface, saying it has helped improve their overall game and skillset,” he said.
“We look forward to welcoming competitors from across the state and country to use this world class facility.”
Hockey Central Victoria raised $240,000 for the project.
Mayor Lyons congratulated the fundraising efforts of Hockey Central Victoria.
He said the organisation should be commended for its good financial management over the past 10 years to ensure it would be able to cover majority of the costs.
The council provided the remaining $80,000 it needed to finish the development.