SPORTS

Big 2017 For Touch

It will be a busy 2017 for Touch Federation Fiji (TFF) as they will host its first ever international and youth tournament. Considered a minor sport in the country, the
25 Dec 2016 14:05
Big 2017 For Touch
Master’s over-35s Team training for the Vanua Touch Championships. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

It will be a busy 2017 for Touch Federation Fiji (TFF) as they will host its first ever international and youth tournament.

Considered a minor sport in the country, the federation will hosts the Pacific Touch Festival in Nadi in November.

The tournament will see clubs from Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Singapore taking part.

“Our main goal in this tournament is to promote touch rugby as a sport that people can take up,” TFF president Manasa Vakuruivalu said.

“We’ve around 16 clubs in the Suva area but only six in the west.

“So what better way to do that then to showcase an international tournament in the western division.

“Growing the sport is also one of our main priorities so for the first time we are starting our TFF Youth Championship in June.

“In order to grow the sport, we need to target the youths and get them interested.

“The championship will feature schools and clubs who are Under-20s, this will also be a build-up to the Youth World Cup in 2018 in Malaysia.

“So 2017 will be a really busy year for us.”

While the TFF is looking forward to the New Year, Vakuruivalu said their 2016 has been a difficult but exciting one.

“Our biggest challenge is securing or hiring a suitable venue to host local and international tournaments. But we are thankful to the Fijian National Sports Commission for their support for 2017,” he said.

“Being a minor sport, we also have difficulty in getting sponsorship from corporate houses  for teams and tournaments.

“We had a quite year in 2016, our touch season started late because we had difficulty in securing a proper ground.

“We finally managed to hire Sacred Heart College ground and our season ran for eight weeks.

“In November we hosted a business-house tournament which ran for four weeks ending up with HFC Bank beating FNPF in a final.

“We also will be sending two teams to the 2017 World Masters Games in Auckland in March and both have started their preparations.

“So we are really looking forward to the New Year.”

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj


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