JUNE 6th-8th 2020
The June Long Weekend Carnival provides fantastic development opportunities for junior players in Canberra and regional areas through New
South Wales and Victoria. The June Long Weekend Carnival is a great initiative as it provides pathways for junior players to develop their skills
in hockey and move towards potentially playing in National Championships for their respective states. The Carnival also allows juniors to
socialise with other hockey players from a number of different associations..
History of June Long Weekend Carnival
The June Long Weekend Carnival originally began in the 1970s as a Girls Hockey Tournament. The Carnival was designed specifically for girls
to compensate for the fact that players preparing for National Championships could only play short (20 minute) games in Sunday Regional
Carnivals. While these restricted times were deemed necessary, they denied local players the opportunity to experience longer representative
Official records show that the June Long Weekend Girls Hockey Tournament was established by 1981, but officially began in the 1970 when the
Canberra Girls Hockey Association (CGHS) Committee members sought to attract higher levels of competition for Canberra players. In 1981, it
was recorded that 15 teams from 5 Associations participated.
The Carnival struggled through it’s early days, with minor interest from towns and cities around Canberra. The first tournament only attracted
three teams from Colac in Victoria, however, the weather was too wet and cold for the tournament to be deemed enjoyable meaning that the
team from Colac did not return the following year.
As time went on, the Carnival started to grow and it’s three-day setup started to appeal to a number of teams. In the second year, teams from
Campbeltown, Paramatta, Wagga Wagga, and Bathurst entered the tournament with interest spreading and teams as far as Taree, Newcastle,
and the NSW North Shore participating in the years that followed. As popularity of the Tournament grew, as many as 70 teams were entered to
During the first years of the Carnival, hockey games were played on grass fields at Kaleen (as synthetic turf at Lyneham was unavailable at the
time). Up to 10 fields were used and Wallington Caravan was the control centre, which allowed officials to communicate across all fields and to
ensure that all matches were running on-time and to schedule.
All local ACT clubs helped out during the carnival and were to operate the canteen as well as assist in any event organisation during the 3-day
Carnival. Each day started at a chilly 7:30am, as the volunteers ran long cables out and placed loudspeaker stands for the public address system
in what was often described as foggy and freezing weather conditions, so that games could start at 9am.
The June Long Weekend has changed drastically since its early beginnings, with some of the major changes including the running of the
Tournament, the divisions, the playing of hockey games on synthetic turfs. Probably the major change implemented in 2013 was the inclusion of
boys teams in the Carnival.
Today a high number of teams from various Associations participate in the June Long Weekend Carnival, of which the same of teams return
each year to compete again. Bathurst has particularly been a great supporter of the Carnival, especially in its early years, where Bathurst brought
well-prepared teams who took home the Mike McDermid Shield on eleven occasions.