Junior State Touch Cup carnival ready to kick off in Wagga Wagga
Published: 16 Feb 2023 2:17pm
Wagga Wagga City Council and the NSW Touch Association (NSWTA) will once again host the Junior State Cup Southern Conference carnival at the Jubilee Park precinct this weekend (17-19 February).
The 2023 Junior State Cup is the first since the COVID interruption to get back to a level of normality.
NSWTA General Manager Dean Russell said lessons have been taken out of the COVID years to implement a new model of delivery that will allow participants and their families to enjoy the region and not just the fields at Jubilee Park.
"The format which we are using this year primarily sees divisions either playing a morning session or an afternoon session,” Mr Russell said.
“This was a learning from running events through COVID and is based on the positive feedback from our community.
“Parents and participants will be able to decide if they will stay at the venue all day watching their club mates or, if they wish, visit some of the region’s attractions; my guess is they’ll be keen to do both.
“It’s the first time since 2020 that they will also be allowed to have club tents again and there is a level of excitement just for this simple pleasure.”
Organisers are also keeping an eye on the weather, with Mr Russell stating the Heat Safety Protocols are in place as well as possible contingencies.
Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Dallas Tout said the city is looking forward to the return of this major event for the fifth consecutive year.
“This annual event has become a tradition in Wagga Wagga and we are pleased to be welcoming all participants, some of whom will be making the trip here for the first time,” Cr Tout said.
“I think everyone, from players, families, and supporters to organisers and volunteers, will be impressed with the standard of the venue.
“Our staff have been working alongside NSW Touch to prepare the precinct for the carnival, highlighting the strong relationship we’ve forged over the past five years, a relationship we hope will continue to grow and prosper into the future.
“I wish all participants and officials the very best for another successful carnival.”
Mr Russell said the logistics required in pulling the event together have been enormous and welcomed the support of Council.
“The feedback we are receiving is that there really is an air of excitement for the 2023 event, with an increase of 15 teams from last year, taking the total to 189 teams representing 28 affiliates,” Mr Russell said.
“This includes first time attendees Sapphire Coast TA and Wyalong TA. It will be interesting to see how they handle their first representative event."
There will be close to 760 games played during the carnival, while a contingent of nearly 225 referees will officiate. Games start at 8am Friday and progress through to the finals, from 12.30pm on Sunday, with the prestigious Girls 18s and Boys 18s to be played at 2pm and 2.30pm respectively.
All games played on the main field will be livestreamed all weekend on the NSW Touch Football Facebook page.
There will be changed traffic conditions, including some road and lane closures, around Jubilee Park during the carnival. Traffic management personnel will be in place at major intersections with signage in the area assisting the flow of traffic.