Since its launch in November 2022, the programme has exceeded expectations, culminating in the selection of four male and six female Townsville Saints teams to participate in the highly anticipated 2023 Queensland Touch Football (QTF) Junior State Cup (JSC) in Rockhampton from July 6-8. This milestone achievement marks the largest-ever junior representative group from Townsville to compete in the event since its inception in 1996.
Comprising a total of 166 participants, including 54 male and 81 female junior touch players, 11 referees, and 20 officials, the Townsville Saints teams are set to showcase their skills and talent against formidable opponents from across the state. TTF is ecstatic about the future prospects of representative touch, particularly for the aspiring young athletes in Townsville.
See who's been named in this year's Saints teams here
The primary objective of the programme revamp was to create a strengthened pathway for junior players to compete at a higher level. In line with this vision, the number of teams participating in the programme has increased significantly from four teams in 2022 to an impressive ten teams in 2023. This expanded development pathway has opened greater opportunities for Townsville players to test their mettle against the finest talent from around Queensland.
The programme's overarching goal extends beyond player development; it also focuses on enhancing the skills of coaches and referees. Throughout the representative programme, participants have had the privilege of learning from highly accomplished coaches who have previously worked with Queensland State of Origin teams and Australian national teams. These experienced mentors have generously shared their wealth of knowledge and expertise, enriching the development programme for coaches involved.
TTF extends its heartfelt appreciation to the tireless efforts of team officials who have dedicated countless hours and days preparing the teams for the upcoming event. The referees, who will be officiating the games over the three-day tournament, also deserve recognition for their integral role in ensuring fair play and maintaining the spirit of the game. Special recognition is also extended to Jason Buczynsky (Tour Coordinator), Kerrod Hall (Technical Director), and Jan Wilson (Administration) for their invaluable work behind the scenes, orchestrating the programme's success.
Furthermore, TTF would like to express gratitude to the parents for their unwavering support and for granting their children the opportunity to compete in one of the largest junior sporting events in the state. Their encouragement and commitment have played a pivotal role in the programme's achievements thus far.
Lastly, TTF congratulates all the players selected for the prestigious 2023 Townsville Saints Junior Touch Football QTF JSC tour group. The organisation wishes them the best of luck and encourages them to play with passion, fairness, and above all, to enjoy the experience.