Touch carnival a big hit
TOUCH: Mackay Thunder came out on top of the senior and junior divisions at the Whitsunday Touch Carnival held last weekend.
Three categories consisting of Under-11, Under-14 and a senior division took to the field.
Whitsunday Touch Secretary Justin Butler said this year the junior competition at the Whitsunday Touch Carnival had expanded.
"The Whitsunday Touch Association got to know the Bowen Touch Association a lot better over the last month through a referee and coach's course which was held here,” he said.
"That led to the Bowen team coming down to Airlie which has been a big difference with the junior competition.”
Mr Butler said this added enormous practical value to the Whitsunday touch football competition.
"Each association has their own individual junior competitions, but it's more just skills and drills and muck around training.” .
"It's not a proper game atmosphere with proper referees and managers and substitutions on and off.
"These junior kids feed into the senior competition, so the stronger we make the junior competition the stronger the senior competition will become.”
The Whitsunday Sports park was blessed with ideal weather, allowing all competitors to thrive.
The carnival provided plenty of entertainment for the huge number of spectators present.
Despite a home-side advantage for the Whitsunday teams, victory was out of reach.
Mackay took out the senior division, with the local Whitsunday Irukandji Stingers coming second, the Hamilton Island side coming third and St Catherine's taking fourth.
The U14 competition also saw Mackay take out a win with Bowen Pride second and Saint Catherine's third.
The U11 contest saw Bowen claim victory, with the Whitsunday Rebels placing second and St Catherine's third.
Mr Butler praised all the teams for playing in good spirits.
"Big thanks to St Cath's school for fielding three teams under the eye of Bruce Laguna and Peter Bates,” he said.
"The Saints will get stronger and stronger as the younger kids push through.
"Mackay proved too strong and as a Mackay Rep side were head and shoulders above the competition but we learned a lot.
"The Mackay team coming from a big organised competition were also hard to beat last year.”
The Whitsunday Touch Carnival will be held again in 2017.