Wagga Wagga City Council and NSW Touch Association will again host the Junior State Cup Southern Conference carnival in the city this weekend with a revised structure to ensure a COVID Safe event.
NSWTA General Manager Dean Russell said the changed format complies with current NSW Health Public Health Orders and is similar to the format used for the 2020 State Cup.
He said this model limits the number of teams to the 179 entries received, but it has the potential to deliver more significant economic benefits to the local community.
“The Arrive Play Leave format, which we successfully used at our senior event, really allows our participants and their families more time to explore the region,” Mr Russell said.
“They will be able to visit more places – something they previously have been limited in doing while at the fields most of the day.
“We ran this format at our senior State Cup and the message from participants was that they loved it. They had the ability to get around to see elements of the region they didn’t know existed, and patronised more cafes and restaurants while abiding by the Arrive Play Leave protocol.
“It will be interesting in analysing the economic impact of both events, as I firmly believe it will be greater than in previous years.”
Several adjustments have been made to the event to adhere to COVID Safe protocols.
No under 8s or club development teams have been included. The Arrive Play Leave format will be enforced to ensure the event remains under the 3000-person limit on the venue at any one time. This only allows for one parent or carer per participant at the venue.
Mr Russell said the logistics in pulling this together had been enormous, and welcomed the support of Council to ensure the event planning was successful.
Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey OAM said the city is ready for the third year of this major event.
“We have great pleasure in welcoming all participants to Wagga Wagga for this annual event which is becoming a tradition in our city, and one we very much look forward to hosting,” Cr Conkey said.
“Council staff have worked incredibly well alongside NSW Touch to ensure the carnival proceeds at a fantastic venue in a COVID Safe manner this year.
“It highlights the great relationship we have with NSW Touch and the willingness of all involved to put on this event for the benefit of all the young players involved. I’m very confident this strong relationship will grow and prosper in the years ahead.
“I wish all participants and officials the very best for another successful carnival.”
The 2021 version of the Junior State Cup will see 179 teams representing 25 affiliates. There will be close to 650 games played during the weekend. A contingent of nearly 250 referees will officiate.
All games played on the main field will be livestreamed all weekend on the NSW Touch Football Facebook page.
Games start at 8am Friday and progress through the finals on Sunday, beginning from 2pm. The prestigious Girls 18s and Boys 18s will be played at 3pm and 3.30 pm.
IMAGE: Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Cr Greg Conkey OAM with NSW Touch Association General Manger Dean Russell at Jubilee Park before the start of the Junior State Cup carnival.