- Thursday 29 September 2022
More than one-hundred junior Touch Football teams featuring the country's best underage Touch Footballer's have descended on the Sunshine Coast to compete across four action-packed days at the 2022 DoorDash National Youth Championships (NYC).
Free from border restrictions, a record 111 teams will participate in the 30th edition of the NYC, Australia's premier junior Touch Football tournament.
Held at Sunshine Coast Stadium since 2013, the competition has increased in size and popularity having grown from two under 18 divisions and 36 teams in 2013 to this year featuring eight age and gender divisions attracting 5,000 attendees and resulting in $4m of economic benefit to the region.
The 2022 instalment sees the return of school system teams from a three-year COVID forced hiatus and for the first time since 2011 regional from New South Wales will compete at the event.
The record numbers are welcomed by Touch Football Australia CEO Jamie O'Connor who said it was pleasing to see the tournament reach its full potential.
"At the end of 2019 we made the decision to expand the event offering additional under 12, under 14 and under 16 divisions to the existing under 18 divisions. COVID obviously impacted the ability of teams from interstate and the school system to participate over the last couple of years so we're delighted that all teams can finally attend the event."
"We've long known the demand and quality of athlete was there to make this event a truly national junior championships and I'm intrigued to see the rivalries develop between state, regional and school system teams." O'Connor said.
Sunshine Coast Council Economy Portfolio Councillor Jason O'Pray said Sunshine Coast Council was committed to providing great opportunities for young athletes to compete and develop their skills in a safe, welcoming environment.
"Sunshine Coast Stadium is ready to host more junior teams than ever before," Cr O'Pray said.
"When off the field, we hope those visiting the Sunshine Coast can take the time to sample many of the wide range of experiences, events and destinations we have to offer."
The NYC has a rich history of unearthing talent with notable alumni including this week's NRLW Grand Final stars Tamika Upton, Bobbi Law, Kirra Dibb, and Ash Quinlan all previously playing at the event. Clive Churchill Medallist, Ryan Papenhuyzen and Knights Superstar Kalyn Ponga have also featured.
The Sunshine Coast Pineapples are represented in all eight divisions and will be looking to test themselves against the country's best teams.
In the coveted 18s divisions Queensland Secondary Schools Touch (QSST) are among the favourites to claim the championship fuelled by a three-year absence and memory of a shock defeat to their NSW Combined High School rivals in 2019.
The 2022 DoorDash National Youth Championships are being held at Sunshine Coast Stadium from Wednesday 28th September to Saturday 1st October. Entry is free and all are welcome to attend.
Fans can watch the event exclusively live and free via Kayo Sports.