Shanghai Touch Leaps Forward
9 Dec 2014 @ 11:56 UTC
The 2014 Shanghai International Touch Tournament (SITT) will be larger and more diverse than ever. With world-renowned referees making an appearance, as well as China's best touch talent traveling from near and far, SITT will have teams from around Asia on their toes.
This year's incarnation, held over the first weekend of November, is expected to host over 500 players from across Asia.
According to Paul Fewtrell, SITT committee member and China National Mixed Team coach, this year's tournament will be better than ever.
"There's a great buzz about this year's tournament as we look forward to welcoming more international teams than ever and some of the world's best touch referees, including world number one, New Zealander Miah Williams.
"Miah Williams and a strong contingent of top Aussie refs will bring true international standards making sure play will flow freely and fairly," Fewtrell said.
Touch rugby has been on the rise since it was first introduced into China, and has become nationally supported and accepted. This year all eyes will be on the highly-rated China Touch Development Team hailing from Guangzhou, who will follow up their SITT appearance with a trip to Australia for the 2015 International Touch Tournament, a first for a Chinese club.
"There's a lot of talk surrounding the Chinese mixed team regarding their ability and burning passion for touch," said Fewtrell.
"This tournament is a great way for them to compete with the best touch teams from around Asia on their home soil, and gain support from other teams for next year's International Tournament," he added.
The tournament commences at 7am on Saturday, November 1, and continues through the weekend at the Shanghai Rugby Football Club.