The event that touches the entire community
TOUCH FOOTBALL: Over the past 11 years, the Junior State Cup Touch carnival has become a staple on the Fraser Coast sporting and economic landscapes.
It is not only a sporting spectacle featuring hundreds of players, it is an event that is used by families as a holiday.
Up to $4 million is pumped into the Fraser Coast's economy from the 9000 visitors that descend on the region for the competition, with the visiting football families shopping and eating in many of Hervey Bay and Maryborough's restaurants.
Accommodation providers across Hervey Bay and Maryborough are booked out for the event, with some as far as Childers and Gympie being full for the week too.
It is has continued to grow and Fraser Coast Regional Council needs to be congratulated for having the foresight to secure the hosting rights and make it so good that Queensland Touch could not go anywhere else.
The event has even witnessed a wedding proposal on one of the fields at the conclusion of a match.
Current Cairns Post and former Fraser Coast Chronicle sports editor Matthew McInerney reflects on his time covering the event.
"When I first started at the Chronicle in 2015, I remember being told the Junior State Cup was a huge event," he said.
"But as a newcomer to the Coast, you couldn't grasp just how big the annual touch footy competition actually was until the marquees were up, kids flooded the Tavistock St fields and the first whistles were blown."
It is also a success for the Chronicle, with planning by advertising, administration and editorial staff happening weeks ahead of the tournament.
"Armed with the draw, full schedule and a map of the 20-odd fields, the challenge was to find a way to cover as many teams as possible, across as many age groups as possible, in the most time-effective manner," McInerney said.
"We couldn't keep Alastair and other photographers tied up for the day, so we had to find one or two windows so they could power through what they needed - and take a camera myself just in case."
McInerney was one of many sports journalists or editors who covered the carnival and in today's Chronicle we look back at some of their many articles that detailed the event.