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Local touch players score big in national tournament

local touch players
Local touch players Taylor Driver, Jesse Young and Kharla Hills competed at the Inferno National Touch League Competition.

Three Bundaberg touch players represented the region at the annual Inferno National Touch League competition last weekend, competing against some of the best from around the nation.

Kharla Hills and Taylor Driver were selected in the CQ Bulls under 20 women’s side while Jesse Young made the under 20 men’s side.

The National Touch League is a nationwide tournament for the sport of Touch Football, held annually in Coffs Harbour.

While the CQ Bulls under 20 women’s side had to pull out due to limited numbers, Kharla and Taylor were then selected to play for the NSW Southern Suns team allowing them the opportunity to still compete.

Bundaberg Touch Vice President Ainsley Driver said the event was a great opportunity for the local players to showcase their skills up against others from around the country.

“To get to play with some of the best players in your region and then compete against the rest of the states of Australia is a big achievement,” Ainsley said.

“Bundaberg Touch has had many players represent Queensland and Australia over the years and it is great to see our region producing high-quality athletes.

“These players really love the game, they train, they play whenever they can to get more experience and they work on their weaknesses as athletes. “

To be selected for the competition, the three locals competed in a trial day to showcase their skills to selectors.

“They go through vigorous fitness, ball skills tests and game knowledge to be selected to represent their region,” Ainsley said.

“The National Touch League is fiercely competitive, and it is also one of the pathways to be selected to play for you state and beyond.

“It is an important step for those players wanting to represent their community, state, and hopefully Australia one day.”

local touch players
Local touch players Taylor Driver, Jesse Young and Kharla Hills competed at the Inferno National Touch League Competition.

Taylor said the opportunity to play in the competition provided her the chance to make new friends and learn new skills.

“I was playing with a NSW team due to having my CQ team pull out, so it was a bit different playing with new people, but I also had a great time meeting them all and it was a big learning opportunity for me,” Taylor said.

“Everyone was there to have fun and play touch footy and their love for their sport and it was a great environment to be in.”

Kharla Hills said the experience taught her how to adjust quickly to a new team and playing style.

“It was a great experience.

“We had not played for the team before so we had to learn to adjust very quickly,” she said.

“It was great to make some new friendships and come away from the experience with those.”

The annual four-day event allows 13 regional permits from across Australia to compete in open, mixed and master’s as well as all abilities divisions.

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