FOR years serious touch footballers have travelled down the M1 on a Friday night to play in Sydney’s Vawdon Cup.
The organiser of the new Hunter Premier Touch competition, Dan Szarkun, hopes the league will provide a pathway for more local players to compete at an elite level.
The competition begins on September 4 and runs for 10 rounds, plus finals, out of Raymond Terrace’s Lakeside Sports Complex.
It is expected to be used as preparation for the annual state cup in Port Macquarie in December.
The Hunter has about 15,000 registered touch footballers and is considered a stronghold of the low-contact sport.
Clubs from Woy Woy, Doyalson, Newcastle, Nelson Bay, Port Hunter, Maitland, Beresfield and Port Macquarie have shown interest in entering representative teams in the competition’s open men’s, mixed and masters divisions.
There will also be a $2500 prize pool per division.
‘‘There hasn’t been the ability or availability for teams to have a good hitout before the state cup,’’ Szarkun said.
‘‘The only other comp they’ve got is a couple of weekend tournaments which teams can go away to. They’re good, but they don’t have a weekly comp.’’
Szarkun’s Port Hunter Touch Association approached NSW Touch six months ago about launching the new competition.
NSW Touch sport manager Daniel Rushworth said the new competition would be second to the Vawdon Cup in prestige.
‘‘We’ve endorsed the event and we’re recommending it to all clubs within the Hunter and afar,’’ Rushworth said.
‘‘It’s all about trying to create a better pathway and opportunity for people within the Hunter to improve their touch.’’
Source: Newcastle Herald