By publicity officer
The Junior State Cup in Port Macquarie is the premier NSW Touch Football junior representative event.
As the title suggests this is the State Championship.
The competition was going to be tough, so why would we send 24 kids making up two teams of kids if they had never played as a team before to the event.
The reason – ‘what an opportunity.’
The Burren Junction Touch Association began because of an opportunity.
In the middle of a drought where most families had no winter crop to harvest in the summer of 2018, the association was born.
Tuesday afternoons down on the cricket grounds of Burren Junction, two fields were marked out on the dirt. Skills and drills were run for the beginners, matches for primary aged kids and then it was adults taking to the field for some fun.
There was no trophy at the end of the season but each game night everyone went home a winner because they were doing exercise with their family and catching up with friends.
Who would have thought that it would have to take getting the kids to Port Macquarie on Friday, February 14, for the NSW Northern Junior State Touch Football Cup during a state-wide drought to make it rain.
Port Macquarie had 140mls on the weekend before the cup and rain throughout the week but they still went ahead with the cup.
Two days were spent splashing in lakes of water, sliding in fields of mud and getting their uniforms as dirty as possible.
And if they were not dirty enough some of the kids did belly slides just to show how much fun they had.
Everyone had a blast – even the parents who threw off shoes to slosh around in the mud.
There were smiles on everyone’s faces because it had rained at home.
Junior players from Rowena, Burren Junction, Wee Waa and Narrabri joined together to form two teams, a 14-years girls’ team and a 12-years boys’ team under the name of the Burren Bullets.
Both teams learnt a lot and everyone had a blast.
The girls even took to the stadium against the Doyalson Dragons to have one of their matches televised.
They didn’t win the game but the crowd in the grandstand were pretty impressed by where they had come from and how they played.
Each team was supported by coaches and a team manager.
Training began back in November 2019 which helped the kids learn new moves, plays and perfecting the game plan.
Training was held one day a week in Wee Waa and some Saturdays during the school holidays in Narrabri under the expertise of Pete and Sandy Shearer, Lisa Currey, Taryna Wilson and Terrence Duncan.
The team managers Tracey Maxwell and Ashley Humphries also played an important role.
Burren Bullets were supported by Mary Fielder and Helen Smith who refereed games during the weekend.
Refereeing on a lake of water and squelching through the mud keeping up with these young kids was a tough enough task.
The Burren Bullets were extremely honoured to have the enthusiastic support and faith in the opportunity they were given by the Penrith RSL Club, Rotary Club of Nepean and Wee Waa, Burren Junction Touch Association, JLC Electrical, Aerofloat Wastewater Treatment Specialists and Wee Waa CWA.
The team is very grateful for having the best looking uniforms on field, expert qualified coaching and a supporter’s tent to come back to between games.
The cost of registration for each player was also heavily subsidised.
The weekend was some serious fun, with some great games of footy, lots of laughs and lots of mud.
Port Macquarie, we will be back next year.To order photos from this page click here