Touch football taking off in Braidwood

The first three weeks of Braidwood’s inaugural touch football competition has been thoroughly successful, and has given the committee hope that it can turn into a local fixture. 

Under lights: The installation of the lights at Braidwood Rec Grounds during the winter season was crucial in establishing a local touch comp. Photo: Kathy Toirkens.

Under lights: The installation of the lights at Braidwood Rec Grounds during the winter season was crucial in establishing a local touch comp. Photo: Kathy Toirkens.

Braidwood Touch Football committee member Nick Kemp was one of the primary organisers of the tournament, and said that the competition emerged as part of a desire to make use of the local facilities. 

“The idea came about because we’ve got the new lights at the Braidwood Rec Ground, which are pretty sensational,” Kemp said. 

“For the summer period, there’s a whole heap of Braidwood that heads over to Bungendore or out of town to play in Oztag or touch competitions. 

“We thought it’d be great to utilise the local facilities to keep the locals in town to socialise and network.”

Support from the local community for the competition was “overwhelming” Kemp said, and estimates of 10 participating teams proved to be conservative. 

“As we were leading in, we thought we might get 10 teams,” Kemp said. 

“We pretty quickly got to 12 teams, most teams having 14 nominated players. We probably could have gotten to 14 teams all up, but that was starting to get pretty difficult to manage as a start-up competition. 

“We drew the line in the sand at 12 teams.” 

The competition was supported by NSW Touch, who provided referee training for 24 locals. 

The Braidwood Touch Committee has also had “pretty strong” support from the Queanbeyan Palerang council, Kemp said. 

“[The council helped with] marking the fields and giving us general support,” Kemp said. 

“We’ve had pretty strong support from around Braidwood with sponsorship.” 

If the competition does continue to expand on the back of this unprecedented community support, the committee will need to ensure that it has the capacity to expand in kind. 

“At the moment, we’ve got two grounds marked … if we increase the team numbers, we might end up having to mark another field,” Kemp said. 

“If there is demand for increased numbers next competition, we’ll certainly cater for that.” 

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