Gale-force winds, driving rain, sunshine and over 300 players running around Moores Reserve ground in Winton highlighted the opening tournament of the 2018-19 junior representative touch season. A total of 25 teams, made up of Southland teams, sub-union sides from Gore and Winton along with Queenstown based Southland squads got their first hit out of the Junior Representative season. An invitational side from Wanaka also travelled down and took part.
It was particularly important for under-12, under-14 and under-16 gold teams who got some much-needed game time as they build towards next month’s South Island IPS in Christchurch.
Despite at times sideways rain and wind causing havoc, all players and management would have taken some great learnings moving forward to the next tournament on the calendar – the annual Southland-Otago IPS, to be held in Invercargill next Sunday November 18th. A number of dedicated referees also put in a great effort to officiate the games across the day, some of whom will also progress forward to South Island and National tournaments later this season.
A highlight of the day was the addition of under-10 and under-11 boys’ and girls’ sides based in both Invercargill and Queenstown who battled it out against each other. The games were all closely fought, and results went both ways in most of these grades. Gore and Winton based under-12 mixed teams also went head to head on two occasions, with Gore narrowly taking both victories.
Along with the junior representative season now underway, modules across Southland and Queenstown are well and truly in full swing. The Queenstown adult module has again grown, nearing in on 50 teams this season. Primary School competitions again have good numbers throughout the province. One of the biggest successes of the touch season so far has been the latest competition to get off the ground. A Northern Southland primary competition featuring teams from Te Anau, Mossburn and Lumsden have taken part this term. A huge thanks must go to the key drivers at schools throughout the Northern Southland area to help get this new competition off the ground. Moving forward it is hoped the competition will grow and include more kids and schools in the Northern Southland region.
In other parts of the touch scene, Touch Southland have worked hard to provide helpful video and PDF resources for coaches, parents and volunteers who are new to touch. These are all available on the Touch Southland website and the hope is this will provide coaches with the confidence to teach youngsters the core basics of touch in a fun and enjoyable way.
Added to this Touch Southland have visited various schools in Southland this term who requested a coaching session for both their primary school touch players and coaches. The feedback from players and coaches from this initiative has been extremely positive and from this the knowledge of Touch has further grown amongst our players, coaches, parents and wonderful volunteers.
Source: Touch Southland