Hockey South West president Paul Dillon says it is only fitting to change the name of the association and re-launch into a new and exciting era.
The association has officially re-branded to be called Hockey South West, changing from Warrnambool and District Hockey Association as recognition of the steady expansion of the sport in the south-west and to move forward from the impacts of COVID-19.
There is also a new logo with the iconic Southern Right Whale taking centre stage, created by committee member Katherine Bird.
Dillon told The Standard it was a positive move forward for the association as hockey in the region boomed not just in Warrnambool.
"It's been at least six months, maybe the start of the season that our new committee had new ideas and the realisation with some stunning growth coming out of Camperdown with the Corangamite Hockey Club through their juniors," he said of the re-branding.
"Portland is another, they joined our association during COVIID when the border was closed to South Australia. They couldn't go and play in Mount Gambier anymore.
I feel the game, and the catchment area has really changed.- Paul Dillon
"With Portland now here and Corangamite already involved and growing it seemed anachronistic really to be called Warrnambool District Hockey Association, which is what it was called in the early 90s when I played.
"I feel the game, and the catchment area has really changed."
Dillon added it was vital to capture the essence of the entire region in the new name, which was ticked off at the annual general meeting on Tuesday, November 22.
"We wanted a name which these clubs who are putting in with travel can feel that rather than playing in the Warrnambool competition, it's about them too," he said.
"It's their comp as well - Warrnambool and District's name has been around for decades, tracing back to around 1908 in the region but it was largely a ladies' sport until men started playing at the end of the 20th century.
"It seemed to be a relic of the past, when the association was formed you wouldn't have had clubs from Portland or Corangamite coming, so it seemed like the right change.
"Coming out of COVID there's been some enormous growth and some big announcements, but after two years of disruption from community sport in 2020 and 2021, it seemed appropriate to regrow the sport.
"The name change is our way to re-launch in a way and create more positivity. It's quite fitting for us coming out of the pandemic with a new vision and future. It's about creating an identity with an eye for the future."
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