8 November, 2021
Touch Season sees fifth women’s team
This year's Longreach Touch Season has been widely successful.
THE 2021 LONGREACH Touch Season wrapped up Sunday night, after a successful season that saw a competition of five women’s teams, an increase in recent years, and another fruitful Men’s competition.
Club President Courtney Horan said it was exciting to see five women’s teams, a number they haven't seen in years.
“[It provided] more competition and more games for each women’s side,” she said.
“Mixed is always a great season due to the number of teams where both men and women can join forces.
“So, to see all the girls in town come out and play again was very beneficial to the competition.”
This year also saw a larger interest from junior players.
Ms Horan said the committee had worked hard all year to make the junior competition more “official”.
“[We] put a round of final games for them prior to our senior final matches [on Sunday night],” she said.
“Having great coaches like Ben Palmer and Trent Lucas has really helped the kids improve in their skills which ultimately lets them really enjoy the sport and get something out of it.
“In a small town, it can be harder to field full teams so having the kids volunteer to play amongst all ages and keeping the teams mixed meant larger numbers could participate.”
Ms Horan said Touch Football had become an increasingly enticing option for junior players.
“I think the main driver of kids showing up is parents being there to support and be willing to take their kids to every training and become registered players,” she said.
“So we do appreciate their efforts from both families who live in town, and those who reside out of town.”
“I think the best thing about touch football is it has many of the same aspects that rugby league or union have, but it isn’t as physical without the contact element.”
Ms Horan believes there are a number of benefits of touch football for developing bodies.
“It allows kids to build the same skills these sports require, which is great for not just rugby league but other sports too,” she said.
“Our coaches focus on hand-eye coordination, passing, catching, attacking drills, and defensive drills which correlate with rugby league.
“I also think touch football is a very simple game, six-a-side, six touches, pass backward, dump the ball, and run straight.
“So, generally speaking, most kids can understand pretty quickly what the game involves and can pick up the skills really fast.”
Next year, the Longreach Touch Football Committee aims to kick off with a bang.
“We will conduct an AGM mid-March and we invite any locals to come along to hear what we have in store,” Ms Horand said.
“We also would like to extend an invitation to anyone who would like to join the committee, we would love to make space for some more volunteers and keep making Longreach Touch Football an enjoyable and competitive social competition.
"A big thank you to the 2021 committee for all their hard work.
"Thank you to the parents of junior members; thanks to seniors for showing up each week to play and conduct volunteer duties."