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Golden touch has sport ready to boom

Touch stars Georgia Harris (left) and Tori Carter are just two of Mackay Touch Association's success stories
Touch stars Georgia Harris (left) and Tori Carter are just two of Mackay Touch Association's success stories Daniel McKenzie

TOUCH: The recent success of Mackay touch players at state and international level has helped the sport enjoy an interest boom ahead of season 2018.

With registrations flowing in for Mackay Touch Association's (MTA) summer season, MTA president and referees director Jason Miller said young stars like Georgia Harris and Tori Carter, and other local players reaching elite levels had inspired interest.

Harris and Carter will become the first Mackay products to play in Australia's Elite 8 competition in March, which Miller said showed there was a pathway through MTA.

"For those girls to reach that level is an amazing achievement for them,” he said.

"We've also had two Australian representative players, two players and three referees that represented Mackay at State of Origin level in 2016, and two who played in a world cup.”

Miller said registrations for the season had been up on previous years, and at junior level, he said the association was expanding its operations after a "massive” 2017.

"We've had 12 teams put their nominations already, and that's a pretty good start, especially for Mackay,” Miller said.

"Junior wise there was a massive amount of teams, around 90, last season, and that number is just going to increase.

"We've even joined forces with primary schools and they'll run a competition at the start of this season.”

Mackay's Zoe Aitkens (left) and Lara Beveridge at the Queensland Touch Junior State Cup.
Mackay's Zoe Aitkens (left) and Lara Beveridge at the Queensland Touch Junior State Cup. Matthew McInerney

With unique aspects hard to find in other sports, Miller said MTA offered opportunities for players of all levels to get involved.

"From a family point of view it's great as mum, dad, sisters and brothers can all play in the same team,” he said.

"You don't have to be affiliated with a club. That's one thing where Mackay is different to other associations, we accommodate for teams as well as clubs.

"It's minimum contact, you can play at beginner level to super serious, and we do a free referees course to encourage people to become referees.

"When players become referees, they actually become better players as they understand the game better.”

The association is searching for sponsors ahead of the season which kicks off with men's and women's competition on January 29, and January 31 for mixed.

To register, or for more, visit Mackay Touch Association on Facebook.

Topics:  elite 8 georgia harris mackay representative players mackay sport mackay touch association mta sport tori carter touch


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