A record 415 teams will compete at the Queensland All Schools at Whites Hill Reserve in Brisbane this week – the biggest one yet in the event’s 35-year history.
More than 220 schools are represented at the five-day event, from right across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, to international teams from Singapore and New Zealand.
Tournament director Peter Bell said he was thrilled to see how the event still continued to grow after so many years.
“I’m immensely proud to see it develop into such a big tournament, and we expect that growth to continue over the coming years,” he said.
“The schools and teachers have done a wonderful job in introducing kids to the sport who have never play before, and then our ‘super schools’ are producing an unbelievable standard in their players through the programs they have implemented.”
A number of current State of Origin and Elite 8 coaches and players are involved coaching teams at this year’s event, including Australian representatives Peter Norman, Belinda Hammett and Adam Pryde – a positive way for the game’s top players to pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generation of players.
“Queensland All Schools is the biggest event on the touch football calendar, and one of our strengths in the school system is we are fortunate to have so many accredited coaches and quality teachers bringing players to this event,” Bell said.
Bell credited the support of the Brisbane Metropolitan Touch Association in helping to stage such a massive event.
“BMTA, especially Kristen White and Jacqueline Martin, have done a wonderful job in making sure the fields and facilities were ready,” he said.
“We have also been able to increase the number of fields from 15 to 17 this year to allow us to increase the number of teams we can have playing.”
There are a number of hotly-contested divisions, most notably the 18 Boys where Keebra Park and Rockhampton Grammar start as favourites.
In the 15 Girls, Chancellor College are the team to beat following their national title win last month, while in the 18 Girls New Zealand side Columba College have emerged as the team to beat, along with Benowa.
Games commenced on Wednesday and will run through to finals on Sunday from 7.30am AEST.
BY THE NUMBERS
• 415 teams from more than 220 schools
• 1600 games
• 5 days
• 7 divisions
• 17 fields
• 200 referees
For more information on the Queensland All Schools Tournament, click here.