Hundreds of touch football players from around Queensland gathered at Greg Duncan Fields for the sixth annual Bundaberg Cup weekend.
The action-packed two-day event had touch football players from 48 teams, and their friends and family, from as far as Rockhampton down to the Gold Coast stay in the Bundaberg Region.
Queensland Touch Football event manager Rachael Stacey said the event continued to grow as more people found out about the social sporting event.
“It’s a social and very fun event, where people get to come up to Bundy for the two-day competition,” Rachael said.
“Attendance this year has been higher, as we increased the juniors from one day to two days and we can see a difference as it’s brought a lot more families and parents here.”
Racheal said the Bundy Cup was locked in to return to the Bundaberg Region next year and she hoped to gain enough support for it to continue well in to the future.
“We love coming up here, it’s a great location, great field and really just a great event,” she said.
“Initially the Bundy Cup started after the floods, when Tourism Queensland worked with Bundaberg Regional Council to make an event to bring more people to the region, so that’s how it came about and it every year.
“Anyone can play this competition, you don’t have to play touch to join in and a bonus there’s some great prize money up for grabs.
“We have the agreement with Tourism Queensland and will be coming back next year.”
Bundaberg Cup a boost for the region
Bundaberg Touch Association president and Queensland Touch football director of referees Dave Field helped secure the event for the Bundaberg Region and said it had all gone to plan.
“It’s been really good, certainly with 48 teams it’s created a nice signature event,” Dave said.
“The atmosphere and huge crowds had been great, it’s great family environment, a bit of fun and having the kids here over two days now means we have more families in the region for longer.
“Certainly, playing over two days, had families staying here visiting our attractions and beaches.
“So there are less day-trippers as they stay over night and more of their family comes along.
“It all increases the economic benefits to the region and Bundaberg is a really great destination for a weekend getaway.
“We are close enough for families to jump in their car on a Friday after work and school and get here in the evening and the same when they leave of a Sunday they can be home again by 8pm.”
Families love touch and the Bundaberg Cup
Just as many families flocked to the Bundaberg Region for the sixth annual Bundaberg Cup, those who live in the area said it was great to have such an event in their home town.
Local mums Jodie Rae and Ally Kiali-Tanner have children who play touch and they both agreed the Bundaberg Cup was a highlight of their daughters' sporting year.
Emalee Eggmolesse and Caitlin Tanner are both in the Bundaberg under 14 girls team and have played touch together for the past four years.
Ally said the competition in the Bundaberg Cup gave the girls a chance to show selectors what they were made of, with the opportunity to progress to the squad level to later play at Hervey Bay.
“There is so much talent there,” Ally said.
“Our girls have played together since Under 10s and every year in the Bundaberg Cup.
“They love it, we love it, we’ve never missed any games as we are proud parents!”
Jodie said the Bundaberg Cup gave all the players a chance to learn new skills and meet other players from across Queensland and helped them know the importance of teamwork from a young age.
Caitlin said building teamwork was made easier in a sporting environment and she felt like Emalee was her sister because of time they spent together playing touch.
“We connect really well together and have a lot of fun,” Caitlin said.
Bundaberg under 14 girls coach Baz Cutmore said the Bundaberg Cup it gave all the teams to play at a higher level of touch.
“We want to thank all the travelling teams as we don’t normally play at this level,” he said.
“It’s really good and gets all the kids out their learning new skills.
“I am proud to coach when it comes to competitions like this.”
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said it was great to have people travel to the region for the Bundaberg Cup for some fantastic games of touch football.
“A big thank you and congratulations to Bundaberg Touch, Queensland Touch and Events Queensland for such a high-quality carnival,” Mayor Dempsey said.
Mayor Dempsey presented each of the runner-up and winning teams with their trophies and said it was terrific to see some of the local teams come out on top.