A flood of junior touch football players, officials and supporters will pour an estimated $2.2 million into Orange’s economy in the next three years after the city won hosting rights to one of the state’s biggest carnivals.
Orange was on Saturday announced as the host of the NSW Touch Football Junior Regional Championships for both 2019 and 2021.
The two-day tournaments, slated for the weekend of July 13-14 in 2019 and likely to be played at a similar time of year two years later, will bring about 900 players to the Waratah Sports Club’s fields, the home of the City of Orange Touch Association.
According to NSW Touch Football’s sport manager Daniel Rushworth, 50 teams from across the state, along with accompanying officials and supporters, will inject about $1.1m into the city’s economy at both tournaments.
I know they’ve been impressed by the Orange community’s experience with hosting events like this.Orange mayor Reg Kidd
Orange mayor Reg said Orange City Council had been in discussion with organisers of the event for some time.
“I know they’ve been impressed by the Orange community’s experience with hosting events like this,” Cr Kidd said.
“There’ll be a warm welcome from the people of Orange for this event.”
The carnivals will, at this stage, be the biggest sporting participation drawcards on the city’s calendar.
By comparison, the NSW Rugby Under 14 State Championships, played on the June long weekend, attract 400 players and an estimated total of 1000 people, who provide a $450,000 windfall for local businesses.
Council’s sport and recreation committee chair Jason Hamling said the event will be a major boost to one of Orange’s most popular sports.
“There are 120 junior touch teams playing in local competitions in Orange, and I know many of those youngsters will be on the sidelines watching some of the best teams in the state compete,” he said.
“To host this annual event for two years is going to have a long-lasting impact on the sport in Orange.”
Orange Thunder players will represent the Western Hunter Hornets on the field.
Thunder director Joel Begnell said it was exciting to have one of the highest level of junior touch football competition being played in the city.
“This decision comes as a recognition that Orange Thunder is now in the top 10 clubs in junior touch in NSW,” he said.
“Touch is one of the biggest participant sports in Orange and we’re growing each year.”
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