Australia’s best touch footballers will return to Newcastle this Saturday, April 23, to participate in the inaugural Bristol Paints Aus Open, a critical step in the sports international return following a three-year hiatus.
Held at Harker Memorial Oval, New Lambton, the Aus Open features the PainAway Australian Emus Open Men’s, Women’s and mixed squads who will be together for the first time since their World Cup triumphs in Malaysia three years ago.
The squads will participate in three high intensity, fast-paced and action-packed exhibition games, with organisers pitching the event as the perfect way to rediscover the atmosphere of free live events.
Touch Football Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Jamie O’Connor, said he was looking forward to the series.
“The Bristol Paints Aus Open is an exciting new event concept that will see the best of the best go head-to-head as we restart our national team program,” O’Connor said.
While O’Connor said he was disappointed travel restrictions had impacted the Opens Trans-Tasman event, which was supposed to take place against New Zealand this weekend, he was grateful the Aus Open could proceed.
“I’m glad we can continue to provide the elite content for Newcastle and the Hunter region, which has long been a strong participation base for our sport,” he said.
Previous Australian Touch Football representatives include the likes of Melbourne Storm fullback Ryan Papenhyuzen and Newcastle’s own Kalyn Ponga.
Australian Emus Men’s Open Coach, Phil Gyemore, said the upcoming event was crucial for the recommencement of the sport internationally.
“It’s been three years since we’ve had our national team squad members together in one group, working towards international selection,” Gyemore said.
“So it’s exciting to be back, but also critical to commence the next phase in our cycle.”
The gates will open at 1.30 pm on Saturday, followed by a Welcome to Country ceremony at 2.15 pm.
Matches will be proceeding at the below times:
- 2.30 pm – Mixed Open Match
- 3.30 pm – Women’s Open Match
- 4.30 pm – Men’s Open Match
The Bristol Paints Aus Open is a free public event suitable for all ages and will be broadcasted live and free on Kayo Sports.