Kids playing touch footy

Parks & Recreation

City wins Junior State Cup touch carnival

Published: 12 Aug 2021 5:41pm

Wagga Wagga has retained the New South Wales Touch Association’s (NSWTA) Junior State Cup Southern Conference carnival for the next two years after this week being named the venue for the prestigious titles.

NSWTA named Wagga Wagga the winner to host both the 2022 and 2023 carnivals after an extensive tender process saw the city’s facilities edge out Dubbo and Wollongong for the two-year rights.

It follows Wagga Wagga hosting the carnival for the past three years from 2019-21, with this year’s event held under COVID-Safe conditions.

The Southern Conference will be held at Jubilee Park in Wagga Wagga from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 February 2022 and Friday 17 to Sunday 19 February 2023.

The Northern Conference will be held at Port Macquarie from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 February 2022 and Friday 24 to Sunday 26 February 2023.

Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Cr Greg Conkey OAM said securing the titles for the next two years was testament to the city’s ability to host top level events and carnivals.

“We had the runs on the board with NSW Touch and proved to General Manager Dean Russell and his team that Wagga Wagga has the capacity to deliver this major carnival,” Cr Conkey said.

“When changes were made earlier this year due to COVID, we responded and did everything we could to make sure the carnival proceeded.

“That is a great reflection on the organisers at NSWTA, Wagga Touch Association and also Wagga Wagga City Council staff who had the grounds and venue looking a treat and everything in place to ensure these junior touch players got to experience the carnival despite testing times.”

Mr Russell said NSWTA received some excellent submissions for the tender to run the carnival for the next two years.

“There was a long list of requirements which we measure against several criteria,” Mr Russell said.

“As can be understood, finding venues for events of this size and satisfying all criteria can be challenging.

“Wagga Wagga ticked the boxes. We’ve seen what they were able to do over the past three years and that gave NSWTA a lot of confidence knowing that in this current environment of the pandemic, that things can change at any time and Wagga has the ability to step up and deliver.

“We look forward to continuing that relationship over the next two years to take the Junior State Cup to the next level.”

Cr Conkey also recognised a reshuffle of the conference dates to assist with accommodation requirements in the city across that weekend.

“Council has partnered with Charles Sturt University which will open its doors next February and provide additional beds for visitors,” Cr Conkey said.

“That goes a long way towards overcoming any accommodation shortfall. CSU has worked with Council to provide this option and we thank them for it.”

The divisions to be played will be as 2021, that is U/10s, U/12s, U14s, U16s, and U/18s.

State Finals are planned to be in Sydney on Sunday 6 March 2022 and Sunday 5 March 2023.

They will remain in the format put in place for 2021. Winners only of each division, in each conference, will progress to play a three-game series to determine the State Champion.