first_imgTouch football for kids aged 8-18 years in Western Australia is about to take off in a new, fun and friendly way under an initiative known as AusTouch. AusTouch is being seen as a change from the traditional junior development strategies and one that will hopefully provide a clear path to bring young players from informal schoolyard games into registered participation with touch football clubs. It will provide an additional avenue to expose potential players to participation outside the school-based competition, developing skill and social interaction abilities at the community level. TouchWest are leading the way in taking up the program and they believe that the introduction of AusTouch will ensure their continued growth and expansion into the future. The first AusTouch program in WA will take place at Perth club affiliate Southern Districts. It will run over 6 weeks, beginning with a registration day in late February before qualified instructors will run weekly sessions throughout March and early April. TouchWest have spent a significant amount of time and effort in recent months working to introduce the program. Their lead-up work has included identification of suitable AusTouch leaders, sending information letters to schools in the area of Southern Districts Touch Football Club promoting AusTouch and offering them free coaching clinics. 11 people attended an AusTouch Leadership training course on February 8th, including Southern Districts Club Administrators and members, as well as people from various other TouchWest clubs. Those attending from other clubs are keen to not only help Southern Districts establish AusTouch, but are also enthusiastic about commencing the program within their own club. Following the interest and excitement that has been generated in recent weeks and at the Leadership training day, another leadership course is being planned for the next few weeks. Matt Bamford, the State Development and Technical Officer, believes it is fortunate for touch in WA that their clubs are so open to new initiatives. He believes that there is no doubt their enthusiasm for AusTouch to be a success makes it a great deal easier for all the planning to come together. Mr Bamford highlights that the AusTouch session plans are easy to follow, that they keep in mind it is about the kids having fun and not purely about the technical aspects of skills. After all, if the kids enjoy themselves, in the years to come they will still be around to hear about the technical stuff when they’re ready for it. Further information on the AusTouch program can be found on ATA’s website or by contacting: Megan Currie- National AusTouch Co-ordinator. Email :

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