Buckaneers under-14 player Jai Green in action during last year’s Red Rooster Junior Carnival.
Buckaneers under-14 player Jai Green in action during last year’s Red Rooster Junior Carnival. Contributed

Teams hope for winning touch at juniors carnival

HUNDREDS of touch players will converge on Rockhampton this weekend for the annual Red Rooster Junior Carnival.

Recognised as one of the biggest junior touch events in regional Australia, it has attracted a total of 121 teams this year.

They will play more than 360 games in age groups from 10s to 17s boys and girls at the Cyril Connell Touch Fields in North Rockhampton.

The action starts at 9am on Saturday and 8am on Sunday. The final fixture on Saturday is scheduled for 5.30pm and the last final, the 17s boys, will start at 2.30pm on Sunday.

Rockhampton Touch Association administrator Denise Edwards said as well as a huge number of local teams, nominations had come in from Gladstone, Cap Coast, Blackwater, Emerald, Mackay, Dalby and Tambo.

The Tambo Timberwolves have made the 1200km round trip to the carnival for the past three years and this year will be joined by Dalby Eagles in the same division.

Edwards said the event continued to grow.

"It just gets bigger and bigger," she said of the carnival which started about 10 years ago with just 25 teams.

"About three years ago, we had to go to two days because of the numbers.

"We've definitely got good growth in our junior touch ranks and as teams from outside Rocky hear more about it, we get more of them nominating each year," she said.

"It's a participation carnival so every team does play in a final, and I think that's what attracts the kids as well."

And Edwards said it wasn't all about the on-field action, with awards presented in categories such as the team with the most colourful shorts and to the coach with the craziest hat.

"We just try to put a bit of fun into it," she said. "We have full-on rep teams to teams of kids who just want to join in and be part of it."



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