Warnings issued: Crocodiles sighted in Hervey Bay
TOUCH FOOTBALL: Crocodile "warnings” have been issued for Hervey Bay after sightings in the past three days.
The warnings are for touch players in the Hervey Bay area to be on the lookout for two dangerous Townsville teams.
For the first time in the Queensland Touch Junior State Cup, Townsville has entered teams.
The Crocodiles are represented in both the under-14 and under-16 girls' divisions of the competition.
Planning for the event started in November last year to allow players and parents time to budget and organise for the carnival.
Due to the travel distance, it is difficult for the North Queensland associations to come to Hervey Bay.
Co-coach of the under-16 girls Jason Buczynski believes the experience will help the players on and off the field.
"The biggest hurdle was finding accommodation for everyone - most were booked out even in November,” he said.
Both teams travelled by air to Brisbane and then drove to the Sunshine Coast for a two-day training camp before making their way to Hervey Bay.
Co-coach John Burke believes the tournament will benefit the players and Townsville Touch in the long term.
"It creates different opportunities for the players, playing in a different environment and with a different team,” Burke said.
"It is an amazing carnival and very well run.
"Our players are really enjoying it.”
Townsville Touch is a strong association with 130 junior teams and about 1300 players.
Both teams at the carnival have had success in their early pool matches and are taking each game as a new experience.
"Winning is good but the development is the most important driver for us,” Burke said.
Townsville are also using the Junior State Cup to further develop players who have not played at such a level.
"We have players that have missed out on state championships and Queensland All Schools (Touch Football) and this can only be good for their touch careers,” Burke said.
Queensland Touch chief executive Ben Mannion understands the difficulties faced by the North Queensland teams to get to the Junior State Cup.
"We are aware of the challenges the North Queensland associations face with distance,” Mannion said.
"It has also been identified in our governance and operational review that we are currently wrapping up.”
Queensland Touch is exploring opportunities to create a similar competition to cater for North Queensland participation.
"It is pleasing to see Townsville here in Hervey Bay and we thank the players, parents, coaches and administrators for their efforts in making it happen,” Mannion said.
The Hervey Bay Sports Complex will host its last day of Junior State Cup action today before the tournament moves to a new home next year.