FOR THE KIDS: Scott Prince with U/16 Hervey Bay players Skye Houliston and Jaspa Wright ahead of the Junior State Cup.
FOR THE KIDS: Scott Prince with U/16 Hervey Bay players Skye Houliston and Jaspa Wright ahead of the Junior State Cup. Alistair Brightman

Junior State Cup 'the biggest in 22 years': Scott Prince

JASPA Wright and Skye Houliston had stars in their eyes as Origin legend Scott Prince practiced drills with them.

But the former halfback for Queensland State of Origin wasn't mucking around, making sure he was prepared for what could be Queensland Touch's biggest event in their history.

Prince visited the area to preview next month's Junior State Cup, which will see thousands of players from across the state descend on the region for a shot at the championships.

For 15-year-old Jaspa, who has played since he was five, the July 6-8 mega-event will be a test of everything he has learned.

"It will be a close match, and there are a lot of good teams," Jaspa said.

"But I'm sure it will be a lot of fun."

The training regime has been difficult for both, with Skye having to juggle her training sessions, school and her personal life in the mix.

"The girls have been training once a week since May, there's been a lot of running," she said.

Hervey Bay will host about 220 teams from 29 affiliates, with over 450 games scheduled over the three-day event on July 6-8.

"It's the biggest in 22 years since it's been running, and we've got a record number of teams involved," Prince said.

"I can assure you we're going to see some talented touch football players on show, both with boys and girls."

Next month's event will be the third time Prince has acted as an ambassador.

His duties aside, he'll also be attending as a proud father, cheering on his two daughters in the game. But what continued to amaze him was the scope of the game, which had reached record nominations across the state.

"It's unbelievable, the amount of kids who play our game. The beauty about it is that anyone can play; boys, girls, mums and dads, grandparents as well," he said.

"It opens the doors up as well; it's a skilful game, and a lot of people are taking notice.

"For me, it's great to be a role model and ambassador for the Cup. It goes to show that to play now... this is where the little dreams start."

The Junior State Cup will remain in Hervey Bay until 2022, following an agreement between Queensland Touch and the Fraser Coast Regional Council in 2016.



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