In 2022, Touch Federation Fiji (TFF) co-hosted a highly anticipated international touch rugby tournament with Tourism HQ. The Fijian Cup was held at the famous Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka from November 4 to 5, 2022. Attracting a number of Australian and New Zealand touch rugby clubs and well known touch rugby players, the tournament was intended to bring in tourists and spinoffs that will benefit the local economy and communities around Sigatoka. Eleven local teams participated in the tournament, including the mixed masters defending champions, the Koroturaga Masters from Suva.
These 11 teams consist mainly of elite touch rugby players vying to win the men’s open, women’s open, mixed open and mixed masters category. Players were drawn from the affiliates of TFF, mainly Lautoka Touch Association, Nadi Touch Rugby Association, Nasinu Touch Association and Suva Touch Association.
As part of the Fijian Cup preparation, experts from New Zealand also carried out accreditation work for referees, together with awareness work promoting the sport of touch in schools. TFF is really grateful for these capacity building and awareness programs.
Running in tandem with the hosting of the Fijian Cup was the work of the Australian coaches who we were able to secure via DFAT funding to run further initiatives. Involved were some elite athletes of the game of touch in Tony Trad, Gavin Shuker and Renee Murphy.
TFF have been able to have a few zoom sessions whilst Tony Trad will be doing a follow up workshop with our Fiji panel of coaches as they work towards the establishment of a high performance unity set up as a support to the current franchise competition so that the best talents are exposed for top level competition.
Touch Federation Fiji is forever grateful also to the continuous support rendered by FIT from Rhonda Togipau, Peter Topp for his development work, and Ian Matthews and Sue Salter for their assistance with referee and coach education and accreditation.
At the end of November, the Australian Defence Force will be also carrying out an accreditation program for sports trainers, first aiders, referees and coaches, culminating in a touch carnival on November 26.
FIT Member Relations Commission, Rhonda Togipau, said; “We’ve appreciated the support of TFF and particularly Touch President, Tevita Mau, and his team for their dedication and vision to develop their players to compete at a high level of touch, while continuing to give back by up skilling and introducing training frameworks for their teams. Fa’afetai lava.”