Warrnambool is in line for a new $600,000 hockey pitch, but the association has revealed it is keen to go one better and bring it up to international standards.
That could mean being able to host the medal-winning Hockeyroos and Kookaburras but that work would cost at least $1.2 million.
The council last week allocated $600,000 for a new pitch in its draft 2022-23 budget but Warrnambool District Hockey Association hopes to double the amount through Commonwealth Games infrastructure funding and philanthropic funds.
"It's part of our bigger vision," association president Paul Dillon said.
The 16-year-old pitch was "at the end of its life", he said. "Its best days are behind it."
The "very generous" funding allocation from the council would buy the association a regional-standard facility but Mr Dillon said it was keen to try for even better facilities.
"The hybrid pitch would be good, but an international pitch would be better," he said.
Mr Dillon said there were 300 paid members of the association in Warrnambool and it hoped to double those by time the games were held in 2026.
"If we've got that growth, how about we reward that growth by having a real jewel in the crown here?" he said.
"We don't want to build something that is a white elephant just to get the Commonwealth Games here. It's more about doubling our numbers between now and 2026."
He said hockey was an Olympic and Commonwealth games sport which Australia had a history of winning medals in.
While a new pitch was on the association's radar for now, stage two works would hopefully include upgrading the clubrooms which were built in the 1980s.
Mr Dillon said with the money the council had pledged, it would only allow them to upgrade the pitch to a standard that could cater for regional-level games.
"It wouldn't get Australia or New Zealand or Canada or England playing on that pitch because it won't be to their standard," he said.
"The council has put skin in the game with a really good contribution. The job is ours to find how we match that contribution to get something international standard," he said.
Mr Dillon said the association would be "delighted" with a $600,000 hybrid pitch, but if it could double the money and get an international standard pitch it could host state and international teams every year.
"Let's be a bit ambitious and let's not settle for something that is good, let's aim higher," he said.
"Maybe Melbourne v Adelaide in the national league could have their match here. We could have the Hockeyroos women's team do a training camp here. Could we have the Kookaburras here?
"All these doors will be closed in our face if we just have a hybrid pitch. They're a dime a dozen all around Australia. It's more about can we aim a bit higher?"
The association plans to rename itself later in the year to Hockey South West to reflect the growth across the region with 100 kids registered in Camperdown this year and 50 in Portland. He said 53 per cent of members were female.
"There's some really strong green shoots in the junior side of Portland and they all travel in to use the Warrnambool pitch as a hub, so we're really growing across the south-west," he said.
"Our vision is more the south-west, less Warrnambool-centric, because of the larger catchment in Corangamite and Glenelg."
Mr Dillon said he would like to see the new pitch laid by Easter in time for the new season, but holding off in the hope it could get funding to make it international standard could mean a longer wait.
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