It doesn’t happen every year – but when it does, the Burren Junction community is on board.

Facing another end of year without a harvest, the Burren Junction Touch Association consisting of Helen Smith, Sandy Shearer and Laura Bullen decided it was time to re-instate the competition with the ADAMA 2023 Burren touch football comp.

“We are thrilled to see so many people meeting up socially and playing touch football in Burren Junction. Players travel each week from Wee Waa, Pilliga, Come by Chance, Cryon, Spring Plains and Rowena and range in age from 3 to 54 years old,” said Sandy Shearer.

The social comp may not tally scores, however, that doesn’t curb the enthusiasm and friendly rivalry between the teams. Thanks to an ADAMA Community Matters grant, the local association has the lowest touch registration fees in the state, and its appreciated by the 110 registered players.

ADAMA representative Peta Miguel was pleased to be able to support her local region with the grants that are awarded through the competitive application process.

“Through the grant process we aim to support those communities that support ADAMA and give back in a way that can be shared with the entire farming community,” said Peta Miguel. The grant helped lower registration costs, fund new resources, line marking, player awards and supports the weekly fundraiser barbecue.

Other organisations are also starting to support the initiative with Namoi Cotton donating meat and drinks for a recent fundraiser barbecue.

Many of the players were part of the Burren competition that first ran in 2018. The younger players have a skills and drills session while those over eight play a game each week in a friendly round robin.

Many of the players who are now the older kids in the primary group started in the kindergarten to Year 2 drills in 2018. Each week a player from the junior teams and kindergarten to Year 2 drills skills is awarded a ‘Spirit of touch’ award, an initiative to encourage and reward good sportsmanship.

Some of the players in the open group played in the first two comps.

“Five years on, these players are just as skilful, extremely competitive and still willing to put their body on the line,” said Helen Smith.

“It is also great to see plenty of new local faces alongside the return players.”

The efforts of the volunteer organisers is appreciated within the community where there are limited organised sport options for adults. Many Burren locals travel well over 200 kilometres return for sporting commitments, so a local comp is a welcome change.

“You can feel the tight tension around you, but there’s something about it that gets your adrenaline pumping and you just start to enjoy it,” said Emmy Moore.

“I love being able to be part of the Burren touch comp and play in Burren,” said Kitty Knight.

The Burren Junction Progress Committee who were successfully awarded the grant earlier in the year were pleased to see the funds allocated to benefit such a broad group within the community.

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