The best junior Touch Footballer's from throughout the Southern Hemisphere are in Brisbane for the inaugural Asia Pacific Youth Touch Cup (APYTC) which starts at Whites Hill Reserve today. 

The APYTC is a one-off event to reignite international youth competitions following the cancellation of the 2021 Federation of International Touch (FIT) Youth World Cup due to the pandemic.

Twenty-three teams representing nine nations will compete across under 18 and under 20s Mixed, Girls and Boys divisions, in what will be a colourful showcase of emerging talent. 

The event follows the hugely successful Opens Trans-Tasman Test Series, held at the same venue a fortnight ago where close to 5,000 fans witnessed Australia retain the title over New Zealand.

The last FIT Youth World Cup was held in Malaysia in 2018 with Australia also reigning World Champions from this event.

Traditionally a contest between arch-rivals and the world's top two ranked nations in Australia and New Zealand, this year's event features many emerging nations including the likes of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and the Phillipines. 

Federation of International Touch Director Peter Topp said the event is a welcome sight.

'After the disruption and rescheduling of international events in recent years, we're delighted to see top flight youth Touch Football return to the global stage'. Mr Topp said.

'This event will not only provide opportunities for Australia and New Zealand athletes but encourage participation and development from several emerging nations from across the Pacific and Southern Hemisphere, which is critically important as we rebuild the sport globally after the pandemic.'

Touch Football Australia (TFA) Chief Executive Officer Jamie O'Connor said TFA is looking forward to the dual role of hosting the event and competing on the field.

'After the success of the recent Opens Trans-Tasman Test Series at this venue, we now turn our attention to our youth teams and resuming the critical element of our pathways'.

'We're looking forward to resuming rivalries on the field but equally looking forward to reconnecting and hosting our friends from the international community off the field'. O'Connor said.

Touch New Zealand CEO Joe Sprangers echoed O'Connor's thoughts:

'The absence of International Touch has certainly had an impact on our High-Performance sector, so we're thrilled to be at this point.' Sprangers said.

'We always look forward to taking to the field against our Australian counterparts. The addition of other emerging nations adds another dimension to the mix and we're excited and ready.'

Many famous sporting have previously represented Australia at youth level, including Kalyn Ponga, Ryan Papenhuyzen, Tamika Upton and Tarryn Aitken to name a few.

The event is expected to attract thousands of supporters to Brisbane and Queensland in the coming days.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the city's premier facilities were key in scoring the return of the international touch footy fixtures.

'Brisbane is fast becoming Australia's sporting capital thanks to our outstanding stadiums, venues and countless events planned over the next decade,' Cr Schrinner said.

'Following the successful Opens Trans-Tasman Test Series, we're excited to see the world's best young talent converge on Whites Hill Reserve for the inaugural Asia Pacific Youth Touch Cup, which is primed to host future sporting stars in the lead up to the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.'

'These events are so valuable to the community and delivery an important boost to the local economy, with an estimated $2.5 million flowing on to Brisbane hotels, restaurants and businesses.'

The Asia Pacific Youth Touch Cup starts today and runs through to Sunday at Brisbane Metropolitan Touch Association, one of the state's largest community sporting organisations and home to 800 Touch teams annually. 

Entry is free and the event is broadcast live on Kayo Sports in Australia and Sky in New Zealand.


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