Trans-Tasman rivalry will reach fever pitch on Saturday 9 December 2006 at Elwood Park, Elwood, Victoria when a Victorian based “Australian” team take on a Victorian based “New Zealand” selection in the annual Victorian Touch Association (VTA) Trans-Tasman Challenge Trophy Series.The traditional Kiwi “Haka” will reverberate around the picturesque beachside suburb of Elwood whilst the “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” chant is sure to get a run as the “Aussies” and the “Kiwis” square off in a series that will bring traditional Trans-Tasman rivalry to the boil.Three years ago the VTA Technical Panel instigated the Trans-Tasman Challenge Trophy Series to acknowledge the two traditional cultures who have dominated the local Victorian touch scene.The concept received a fantastic response from the local touch community and has grown each year to become a showcase event on the Victorian calendar.In a best-of-three game series, a Victorian based “Australian” team is selected to oppose a Victorian based “New Zealand” selection in Men’s Open and Women’s Open divisions.If the Series is deadlocked (3 games a piece) a deciding Mixed drop-off is played between the two teams to determine the overall Victorian Touch Association Trans-Tasman Challenge Trophy winner. The event also recognises a number of Victorian Touch Association members who have made significant contributions to the sport over the years including Michael Sparks, Miles Davine, Sete Kita, & Karen Jones.The respective Most Valuable Player awards for the teams are named in honour of these Victorian Touch Association stalwarts.Bragging rights for most series won in the event’s history is up for grabs this weekend, with Australia winning the Inaugural Series, and New Zealand squaring the ledger last time around, and both teams now eagerly awaiting the opportunity to claim supremacy in the 2006 Trans-Tasman Challenge.The “New Zealand” Men’s team will field a combination big on speed, agility, and attacking flair led by Jason Kaiwai (2006 Crusaders Men’s Open), Callan Donner (Victorian Men’s Open), and former New Zealand Secondary Schools representative Cam Tangaroa. The “Australian” Men’s team will feature an experienced line-up headlined by Derrick Cant (former Crusaders Mixed & Mens Open), Michael Carter (Australian Senior Mixed, 2005 All Nations) and 17 year-old young gun Chris Katal who played in the Crusaders Men’s 20’s team at the 2006 National Touch League.The New Zealand Women’s Team also has a strong look about it.Former New Zealand Senior Mixed representative Terry Beazley has been handed the coaching reins of a team featuring Teena TeMaro (New Zealand 2005 All Nations Women’s 35’s representative),Bernadette Diamond (former New Zealand Bay of Plenty representative), and current Victorian Open Mixed player Sophie Silbury. The “Australian” Women’s team will have its own star quality line-up spearheaded by Leah Percy (2006 Crusaders Womens Open), Wendy Briscoe (2006 Crusaders Womens Open) and 2005 Australian Senior Mixed 2005 All Nations representative Suzy Barrett.Australian Open Mixed Captain Tony Eltakchi will fly in from Sydney for the event as Tournament Ambassador and will be the Master of Ceremonies for the occasion.Junior players (Boys & Girls) will also take part in scheduled exhibition games on the day. These youngsters will take part in a training session in the morning and then play a 20-minute game showcasing the skills, teamwork, and standard of Victorian Junior Touch. For a great day of quality Touch football head down to Elwood Park Saturday to see a prelude to the Trans-Tasman rivalry that is sure to be amplified on the world stage at the 2007 Federation of International Touch World Cup 17-21 January in Stellenbosch, South Africa.Full results can accessed by going to the Victorian Touch web-site http//:www.victouch.com.au
Over 1,500 players and spectators will converge on Port Macquarie for the four day event which showcases the top under 18’s talent in Australia. The championships have returned to the traditional Under 18’s format after the inclusion of the Under 20’s division in 2008, with 36 teams competing at the tournament.The event is Port Macquarie’s second national Touch Football tournament this year, after the National Touch League was hosted at the stadium in March.QSST’s Boys and Girls teams will both be looking to again take a clean sweep of the Under 18’s titles after their dominance at the 2008 championships, but will face tough competition from NSWCHS, NSWCCC, SQBD Sharks and Brisbane City Cobras in both divisions. Local hopes will be high after the Northern Eagles fifth placing in the Under 18’s Girls last year, and the experience of their coach – Australian Women’s 20’s player, Stephanie Halpin, will be of great benefit to the team. The Under 18’s Boys team will be looking to improve on their result of 14th at the 2008 championships with the help of the talent Port Macquarie brothers, Nick and Matt Bale. The round games will be played from Wednesday to Friday, before the semi finals and finals are played on Saturday. To keep updated on scores and news throughout the tournament, please visit the National Youth Championships website: http://www.nyc.mytouchfooty.com
Minister with Responsibility for Sports, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, announced on February 28 that the National Sports Policy will be tabled in Parliament in another two weeks. This follows a presentation on the White Paper, and discussions with local sport associations and federations at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston. Speaking at the forum, Minister Neita Headley named the members of the re-established National Sports Council, noting that they are to meet shortly. The advisory body will promote the actions that are to be taken to further develop sports in Jamaica. “It will advise the Prime Minister and the Minister, as it seeks to harmonize the sporting industry,” she indicated. Members of the Council include: President of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Mike Fennell; Director of Emergency Disaster Management and Special Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Marion Bullock Ducasse; First Vice-President of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Don Anderson; President of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA), Dr. Warren Blake; President of Jamaica Paralympic Association, Christopher Samuda; and Fourth Vice-President of the JAAA, Dr. Winston Dawes. Also on the Council are: Education Officer for Physical Education and Sport at the Ministry of Education, Dr. Joyce Graham Royale; Inspector General of the Jamaica Defence Force, with responsibility for ceremonial activities, Colonel Daniel Pryce; Principal of GC Foster College, Edward Shakes; Former Jamaica Basketball Association President, Marlon Natty; Director in the Entertainment, Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, Tafari Burns; and Executive Director of the Jamaica Anti Doping Commission (JADCO), Renée Anne Shirley.Meanwhile, Mrs. Neita Headley urged the associations to examine their current status, and preparations to participate in the various sports in the 2016 Olympics.“If you’re able to identify those areas, those athletes who will form part of that vision, we need to concentrate and focus on how we will help you to prepare those athletes to meet qualifying standards for 2016,” she said.The Minister said the National Sport Policy will guide the framework for overall national sports development; promote a healthier society; and strengthen appropriate regulations and legislation that support and facilitate sporting initiatives and activities that will result in increased participation among all Jamaicans“The policy is a framework of what will be ideal for us…it does not state how sports will be run, and does not seek to indicate to you how we will operate. That will have to come from a sports sector implementation plan, which will follow the approval of the policy,” she told stakeholdersMrs. Neita Headley noted the various actions that are already being taken towards the overall development of sports through inter-ministerial collaboration, and public/private partnerships.Among these activities is the establishment of a Sports Tourism Committee, to leverage brand Jamaica. She noted that concrete steps are also being taken to establish a sports museum, and that discussions have also begun with the London Mission to establish a sports museum foundation, which would allow members of the Diaspora to make meaningful contributions to the museum.As for the hosting of international events, the Minister said guidelines are being developed to ensure the best quality events that meet international standards.