TOUCH FOOTBALL: It has been close to a decade since touch football has been part of the Upper Clarence Valley sporting landscape.
Now, thanks to Craig Nipperess, Jabour Park in South Grafton comes to life every Wednesday as aspiring touch players of all ages test and further develop their skills.
"I'm very happy with the number of teams. We have under-12s, 14s and open mixed,” Nipperess said.
"We filled our cap and we couldn't be happier with our junior numbers. Also we
had to restrict our open mixed to 13-teams,” he said.
A former rugby league and touch football representative player, Nipperess could see the benefits from playing touch at a young age.
"Growing up, we all played touch in the backyard or at the local oval,” he said.
"It's a great way to improve your skills, have fun and keep fit.
"Some of the kids playing touch for the first time might like the game and decide to play league or union when they get older.
"The whole idea is to teach kids the basic skills that they can use in all their other winter and summer sports as well.
"Also it's about teamwork, camaraderie, being active and having fun.”
For the McAuley Catholic College teacher, the sport's return to Grafton from the touch footy wilderness was long overdue.
"It's fantastic to see people playing touch again. I don't think men's touch has been played in Grafton for at least 10years,” he said.
"And who knows, if everything goes to plan
we might even continue and run a winter mixed competition.”