Charlesworth a watch

The Ric Charlesworth Classic will wrap up this weekend at Perth Hockey Stadium. Photo: Sean Van Der Wielen.

The Perth Hockey Stadium is set to come alive this weekend as the Ric Charlesworth Classic comes to a close.

Four teams will battle it out on Saturday and Sunday afternoon to claim the prized tournament trophy which is named after the legendary West Australian-born coach and player.

Now in its second year, the classic showcases hockey talent from across the state over a nine day mens and womens competition.

Breakers womens player Kim Leiper played last year and says it is a no-brainer to come back for a second tournament.

“It’s one of the only opportunities we get to play with other players from other clubs and also play in a high level tournament,” she says.

“It’s great playing, it’s fun, it’s challenging, it means quite a lot to be able to do it.”

Photo: Gary Day

The tournament is largely dependent on Western Australian players, giving local up-and-comers a chance to prove their skills.

To help community sporting organisations, Hockey WA will be giving half of its profits from the weekend’s games to local hockey associations.

Reds Hockey Club president Greer Schlueter believes the gesture shows the compassion of the sport’s governing body towards its grassroots movement.

“For us as local clubs, I think it’s been a great thing they’re trying to give back to the clubs that form their competitions and keep hockey in Western Australia alive,’ she says.

“It’s incredibly generous because without the support, a lot of smaller clubs and even large clubs like ourselves, we might have not had those sort of revenue opportunities.”  

For Ms Leiper, who has been living in Australia since moving from the United Kingdom in 2016, the COVID-19 pandemic has given her another perspective on how lucky she is to be playing hockey.

“All of my friends back home, they’re not even allowed to play club level at the moment, so there’s the performance side of it and then there’s having the opportunity to play at all.”

Entry to the Classic is $10 for adults, with children under 18 receiving free entry.