Tomaree teens selected for Australian National Youth Championships

CLASSY: Touch representatives Kiara Dixon, 17, and Verdelh Antonio, 17, at Tomaree sports complex.
CLASSY: Touch representatives Kiara Dixon, 17, and Verdelh Antonio, 17, at Tomaree sports complex.

Touch football is one of the biggest growing sports for boys and girls in Australia due to its dependence on speed, agility and coordination.

In Port Stephens the game continues to grow and develop while producing representative players at all levels.

Two of the latest selections include Nelson Bay’s Kiara Dixon and Verdelh Antonio, both 17, who were last week chosen in the NSW ladies and men’s development teams to play at the Australian National Youth Championships to be held in Caloundra from September 12-15.

The tournament will see school, community and State teams compete at a national level.

A Year 11 Tomaree High student, Dixon said she was extremely excited to learn of her selection.

“I enjoy playing rugby league and union, but touch is a favourite because of the people you meet and the travel,” Dixon said.

Speed is a gift Dixon shares with Antonio, a Year 11 student at St Francis Xavier school and fellow Hornets representative.

“I enjoy the camaraderie of teammates and I love not only scoring tries but setting them up as well,” he said.

NSW Touch formed the development teams seven years ago, where a squad of 60 players is handpicked from junior regional tournaments, which is then narrowed down to a squad of 15 following a series of school selections and trials.

The state touch body provides the best coaches, trainers, selectors and mentors to develop these players to be the best they can. 

Dixon and Antonio will attend training camps in Sydney lat this month prior to competing at the tournament.

Nelson Bay touch players Erin Clark, Andi Law and Alyssa Coggan will also head to Queensland for the championship. 

The Tomaree teens have been selected to play for the NSW Combined High School’s open women’s team.

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