Touch bounces back in 2022 ahead of blockbuster 2023

Jan. 18, 2023 @ 11:50 UTC

After a three-year hiatus, international Touch bounced back successively in 2022. However, there is plenty more in store for our game’s elite players as part of a mega event calendar in 2023.

Peter Topp, Director of Federation of International Touch (FIT), said, “Last year, the European Touch Championships held in Nottingham represented our first international tournament since Malaysia hosted the Touch World Cup in 2019.

“Over the next two years, our international events calendar is chock full of events culminating with the Touch World Cup in Nottingham, England, in July 2024.” 

A new direction for Youth

According to Peter, after much consultation, with NTOs, the post-COVID-19 international Touch calendar will look slightly different. 

“We will have two international events for our future stars - one for the northern hemisphere and another to cover the southern hemisphere in 2023,” he said. 

The two new events include the recently renamed Asia Pacific Youth Touch Cup in Brisbane, Australia, from 12-14 May. The best future champs in the Northern Hemisphere then get their chance to shine in the Atlantic Youth Cup in Nottingham, England, between 20-23 July.

Plenty of opportunities for the game’s elite in 2023

Apart from our future stars, some of the world’s best players will be on show in the always hotly contested Trans-Tasman Test Series between Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane, Australia, between 21-23 April.

The battle between the Touch superpowers will be followed by the European Championships in Vichy, France starting on 9 August.

The best of Asia will be on show at the Asian Touch Cup, which will return international Touch to Putrajaya, Malaysia from 22-25 September, while the Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands from 19 November to 3 December will complete a busy year from our game’s best players. 

Away from the park in 2022

Apart from returning to the field of dreams, our sport welcomed Lebanon Touch Association as a fully-fledged FIT member. The West Asian country’s relationship with our sport commenced in 1998, and it is FIT’s 48-member nation and the 13th NTO from the rapidly expanding Asian region.

The FIT Board, including new directors Michael Abromowitz from Switzerland, Chair Mark Croston from England, Topy Xu from China, and Australians Peter Topp and Aaron Jones, is also working on a Strategic Plan for our game. The First draft for NTO consideration is close, Peter advises.

FIT also named three new Life Members in 2022, including long-time Secretary-General Bill Ker, Referees Commission Chair, Ian Matthew and highly decorated referee and administrator Darrin Sykes.

“Matto is indefatigable as our referee’s commissioner, and Billy continues to beaver away on many projects behind the scenes since standing down as Secretary-General,” Peter said.

During the year, several long-term members of the Coaching Commission, including Commission Chair Peter McNeven, Oceania Commission member Sue Salter and Asian member Anne Goh handed in their coaching clipboards.

“Macca, Sue and Anne have been fantastic coaching advisers visiting many NTOs and working diligently at our major events,” Peter said. “We’d like to thank them for their efforts and wish them well for the future.”

Peter continued, “We’d also like to extend our gratitude to our volunteers at all levels of the sport from international, regional, national, and clubs globally and especially to members of our Coaching, Referees, Youth and Women’s Commissions.

“I’d also like to thank our Member Relations team, including Rhonda Togipau (Pacific) and Bianca Arco (Asia), for their hard work in providing seamless links between FIT and our member nations. 

“On the events side, another former FIT director Gary Reynolds continues to work industriously while also maintaining our digital assets such as our website and social media platforms.”

Events for 2023

  • FIT AGM - 25 March 2023
  • Trans-Tasman Test Series - Brisbane, Australia, 21 - 23 April
  • Asia Pacific Youth Touch Cup - Brisbane, Australia 12 - 14 May
  • Atlantic Youth Touch Cup - Nottingham, England 20 - 23 July
  • European Touch Championships - Vichy, France - 9 - 12 August
  • Asian Touch Cup - Putrajaya, Malaysia - 22 - 25 September
  • Pacific Games - Solomon Islands - 19 November - 3 December

Image by Harryarts on Freepik