Touch is all ?go

By STEVE SPINKS

IF it wasn't for Amanda Curry's daughter there probably wouldn't be such a large Ballina Junior Touch competition. Curry moved to Ballina with her husband Tony Clarke, the executive director of the North Coast Academy of Sport, from the Gold Coast, and was surprised there was no local junior competition. "We started it (Junior Touch) in 2000," Curry, the junior director of Ballina Touch, told The Northern Star. "When we moved here there was no Junior Touch and my daughter, who was only nine, was a bit devastated. "So we went to Ballina Touch seniors and they were keen, so with the help of a few really keen adults and parents we started up." The first season drew 34 teams. This season there are 116 teams including more than 1000 players in age divisions from Under-5s through to Under-18s. "We started off by doing some advertising, sitting at Ballina Fair on Saturday mornings and going to schools," Curry said. "We've grown every year and it's got to the point now where we're really tight with grounds. "We're at bursting point." The increased number of juniors has also had an impact on representative teams. "We had seven teams competing at Coffs Harbour at a regional event last weekend," Curry said. "That's the most we've ever had. "The 15 Years Boys were runners-up at a Queensland State Cup tournament earlier in the year and the 10 Years division won their category at the Gold Coast recently." Curry believes the competition will continue to expand. It seems that the numerous Junior Touch players of Ballina need to say a big thank-you to Curry, her band of dedicated workers, and not to mention Curry's daughter.



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