A FULL season without interruption or restriction - that is on top of the 2022 wish list for Bathurst Women's Hockey Association president Jill Long.
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After two years of having COVID-19 impact the competition - season 2021 not actually able to reach a conclusion - things are looking positive as players prepare to return to the turf.
Team nominations have been good ahead of the March 26 season-opening round and there are no longer limitations on spectators.
"I'm very excited about hopefully getting a full year of hockey back. The community has been really good to us, but with COVID we have been impacted greatly, every sport has been," Long said.
"We will start the season off with similar teams to what we've had in previous years, the women will have all their four grades ... the numbers have stayed the same on the other side of COVID which is really good for hockey.
"It should be a good year, I'm looking forward to hopefully not having a break for any reason this year, going back to a normal competition so we can finish in September and all go back to having a good time."
In taking on the presidency for season 2022 after Melissa Bestwick stepped down, Long adds yet another year of serving on the Bathurst Women's Hockey committee to her already lengthy resume.
Her involvement with the women's competition, and that of her sister Maureen Markwick who acts as treasurer, dates back to when they were still in the junior ranks.
"Maureen and I did our first New South Wales umpires exam 50 years ago, I was 10 and Maureen was 14. There wasn't enough umpires for the class being held, they needed two more, so my mother drove us in," Long recalled.
"Maureen passed and I missed out by half a mark, it was the NSW state exam, so I managed to get to blow my first whistle a year after at 11 years. I've been involved ever since.
"Maureen took on the publicity officer when she was only 15 and she's still there and I was an umpire for all those years.
"We've never left the executive in any form, one or the other has held a position all this time. We are life members of Bathurst Women, Bathurst Junior Girls as well and Maureen is a life member of Bathurst Hockey too.
"It's been a long road, but we're still working hard, we haven't given up, we still love the sport and we're still looking forward to 2022."
This season teams from Cougars, United, Larks, Waratahs, Oberon, Shamrocks, Souths, St Pat's and Kelso will all compete.
Long is pleased to think that many of the more experienced players will line up in association colours at the masters state championships and is excited to see what emerging talents produce.
"I'm very proud of the next generation coming up in all clubs. You see, every so often, a young player coming up and you think 'Yeah, she'll be a future star'," Long said.
"I was so proud watching Kelsey Webb umpiring the men's masters [state] grand finals last weekend."
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