Australian Oztag are pleased to announce the recent inductions into the Australian Oztag Hall of Fame: Justin Brown, Karen Breaden and Ross Thomas.
Australian Oztag (AO) congratulate the 2023 Hall of Fame inductees – Justin Brown, Karen Breaden and Ross Thomas, who have been recognised for their outstanding service to the Australian Tagaroos and the game of Oztag.
In August, Justin, Karen and Ross all attended the 2023 ITF Tag World Cup in Ireland where their achievement was announced at the official Australian Tagaroos function.
It was an incredible opportunity for the Australian Tagaroos squad to acknowledge and honour their many accolades over the years.
Representative region: East Coast Dolphins
Years of Service: 18 years
Justin Brown first represented the Tagaroos in 2001 and has continued to play for Australia for 18 years. He has progressed from the Mens 30’s through to the Mens 50’s, recognised for his strong leadership and unwavering sportsmanship. He has also contributed to the sport in coaching local juniors and captain-coaching his local, state and national senior teams.
Representative region: ACT Cougars
Years of Service: 16 years
Karen Breaden of the ACT Cougars region first represented the Tagaroos in 2003 and has continued to do so for 16 years as a Coach. She has been recognised for her thorough knowledge of the game and unwavering commitment to her players. Karen has become a true ambassador for the sport, embodying the spirit of dedication, sportsmanship, and leadership.
Representative region: Illawarra Steelers
Years of Service: 16 years
Ross Thomas of the Illawarra Steelers region first represented the Tagaroos in 2003 and has continued to represent his country for 16 years. As both a player and coach, Ross leads with commitment and passion. His humour, sportsmanship and genuine encouragement makes him a highly valued member of the Oztag community.
With only 20 people coming before them, it is a great achievement and one that is highly respected among the Oztag community.
Australian Tagaroos historian and long-serving Hall of Famer, Gary Kinkade commended the recipients on their achievement.
“Justin, Ross and Karen are so deserving of this honour due to their incredible and dedicated service to Australian Oztag and in particular the Australian Tagaroos,” Kinkade said.
“All three are true ambassadors of our great game and have represented the Tagaroos for 18, 16 and 16 years respectively,”
“They continue to assist, support and represent the game at the grass roots, National and International level,” Kinkade said.
Congratulations to Justin, Karen and Ross on their worthy induction into the Australian Oztag Hall of Fame.
Our Australian Tagaroos have returned home following an incredibly successful campaign in Ireland for the 2023 ITF Tag World Cup, with 11 teams crowned World Champions.
At the beginning of August, our Australian Tagaroos travelled across the world for the highly anticipated 2023 ITF Tag World Cup (TWC).
The tournament was held at the University of Limerick in Ireland, from August 2 – 5, marking history as the first TWC to take place in the Northern Hemisphere.
Australian Oztag (AO) were incredibly proud to send a record 14 teams to Ireland, with players from all across the country selected from the 2022 Senior Australian Championships.
The spectacle that was the Opening Ceremony took place on August 1, where our Tagaroos Club Captains and Vice Captains were proud flag bearers, before our Men’s 30s kicked off the tournament in the opening match against host nation, Ireland.
Club Captains: Amy Spence (Women’s 30s) and Brendan Martin (Men’s Opens)
Vice-Captains: Amy Helm (Women’s 30s) and Adam Carlisle (Men’s 40s)
In cold, wet conditions, games commenced on August 2 – the energy and pride shown by all competing nations, both players and spectators was remarkable.
The spirit of the competition was matched by the camaraderie amongst all competitors, with plenty of photos, hugs, handshakes and playing gear exchanged after all games.
Following an action-packed four days and an average of 7-9 games played by each team, the ITF Tag World Cup Champions were crowned.
Across the 13 divisions, all Australian Tagaroos sides qualified for the Grand Final and 11 teams claimed the World title.
2023 ITF Tag World Cup Grand Final results:
Men’s 21s: Australia defeated New Zealand Exiles 8 – 2
Women’s 21s: Australia defeated New Zealand Exiles 10 – 2
Mixed 21s: ITF Alliance defeated Australia 9-7
Men’s Opens: Australia defeated Lebanon 9 – 2
Women’s Opens: Australia defeated Great Britain 5 – 1
Mixed Opens: Australia defeated New Zealand Exiles 6 – 5
Men’s 30s: Australia defeated Ireland 4 – 2
Women’s 30s: Great Britain defeated Australia 5 – 1
Mixed Seniors: Australia defeated Great Britain 11 – 2
Men’s 40s: Australia defeated Ireland 11 – 1
Women’s 40s: Australia defeated Ireland 5 – 1
Men’s 50s: Australia defeated Great Britain Exiles 11 – 2
Men’s 60s: Australia Green defeated Australia Gold 1 – 0
Congratulations to all teams on an exceptional achievement.
AO’s National Director of Coaching and Development, Michael Buettner commended all players and coaches on their achievements.
“Congratulations should go to all the teams who took out their respective divisions and their coaching staff for their outstanding efforts,” Buettner said.
“Their achievements should not be underestimated and it was great to see all our Tagaroos players leave the tournament with either a Gold or Silver Medal,” he said.
Special mention goes to the following Tagaroos sides who went through the tournament undefeated.
“I know after what happened in Ireland earlier this month, the spark is well and truly lit for all players to aim towards the 2026 World Cup where our Tagaroos will be striving for continued success,” Buettner said.
Big thank you to our Australian team medic, Graeme Wallace who went above and beyond to ensure our players were fit and able to take the field every day.
Thank you to all Sponsors – individual and team – for your support of our Australian Tagaroos.
Livestream games are still available to watch on Youtube.
In exciting news for Queenslanders and Oztag players, Beach Oztag is set to meet Queensland shores in November, 2023.
Gold Coast Beach Oztag will take place at Greenmount Beach, Coolangatta Queensland on Saturday November 25 and Sunday November 26, 2023.
“This event has all the ingredients for success: high energy action, a beachside setting and the best Oztag competitors in Australia,”Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate said.
“Coolangatta is a beacon for great sport action and I applaud Major Events Gold Coast for securing our city as host of this Oztag carnival for the next two years,” Tate said.
The event will offer Senior & Junior divisions with Seniors to be played on Saturday and Juniors to follow on Sunday. Players and spectators can expect a vibrant, fun weekend with the inclusion of stalls, live music, bars & food trucks.
Tournament Director, Luke Manahan looks forward to bringing Beach Oztag to Queensland shores and is confident in the potential of the event to be something spectacular for years to come.
“Its exciting to be bringing Beach Oztag to the Gold Coast in 2023… The location has been brought up in discussion regularly over the years and with the success of Kiama and Maroubra Beach Oztag we thought now is the time,” Manahan said.
“The Gold Coast would have to be one of the most attractive destinations for holiday goers… Combining the Gold Coast Beaches with Oztag will be an event to mark down on the calendar each year,”
“We plan to build the two destinations in Kiama & Gold Coast as our premier Beach Oztag Events,” Manahan said.
Gold Coast Beach Oztag will also be the first joint initiative supported by the NRL who are actively helping grow the game.
For the month of May, NSW Oztag will work with the NSW Office of Sport to promote positive spectator behaviour through the 2023 Shoosh for Kids campaign.
The Shoosh for Kids campaign is a government initiative that aims to promote positive sideline behaviour at all junior sporting events across New South Wales (NSW).
The key message remains – if you don’t have anything nice to say, shoosh for kids.
The collaborative effort between NSW Oztag and the Office of Sport encourages parents, coaches, and spectators to “shoosh” negative comments at all Oztag events – from grassroot to representative levels.
Both Australian Oztag (AO) and NSW Oztag take a strong stance on poor spectator behaviour, in line with the game’s official Code of Conduct policies.
NSW Oztag Development Officer, Luke Manahan strongly advocates for the Shoosh for Kids campaign and knows the importance of making sport a safe, fun and inclusive experience for kids.
“I strongly encourage our Junior Oztag Associations to get behind this initiative and show their communities where they stand on poor spectator behaviour,” Manahan said.
“As junior sport continues to grow it is important that we create a safe and supportive environment for children to participate in sport,” he said.
Manahan encourages the Oztag community to keep their sideline behaviour positive, and make sport fun – on and off the field, to ensure kids keep coming back to junior sport.
“By raising awareness and encouraging positive behaviours from parents and spectators, we can ensure that the children leave having had a positive experience and want to return,” he said.
To help foster a fun sporting environment at your local competition, register your club HERE and access the range of FREE digital resources to use across your social channels, website, or as posters at your venues.
As junior sport gets underway again this week, NSW Oztag encourages everybody to ‘think before they speak’ – supporting players, coaches, referees and volunteers in a positive way.
For more information on the 2023 Shoosh for Kids campaign, visit the Office of Sport.
Introducing Norfolk Island Oztag – the newest association offering both junior and senior competitions.
Oztag has kicked off on Norfolk Island, a tiny Australian Island in the South Pacific Ocean – located between New Zealand and New Caledonia, roughly 1,600km north-east of Sydney.
With a population of just over 2000, Norfolk Island is rich in history and culture, known best for its turquoise waters, subtropical climate and heritage listed sites.
Norfolk Island Oztag (NIO) Licensee, Katie Trickey said her decision to start an Oztag competition on Norfolk Island came from her own love for the game – she wanted the community to have the opportunity to play this great game.
“I was born on Norfolk Island – we have a little community and I thought it would be a great idea to bring over a new sport for people of all ages to get to know,” Trickey said.
In January, Oztag General Manager, Bill Harrigan OAM flew over to Norfolk Island and hosted a 3-day clinic for the community ahead of their inaugural competition.
“The 3-day clinic with Bill went really well… He helped us all learn a bit more about Oztag. He spoke on the radio to get it out to the community more and we ran clinics for everyone,” Trickey said
“We spoke to the kids at the school and ran one up there… We ran a junior skills clinic and game, a ref clinic, as well as a seniors fun run game the next day,”
“It was an absolute pleasure having Bill over helping us get started and seeing our island,” she said.
Not knowing what to expect, Harrigan was thoroughly impressed by the engagement from the community.
“I didn’t know what to expect with such a small population but they turned out… More kids turned up each day so word of mouth was working well,” Harrigan said.
“Enough seniors turned up to host a game and I’m sure their numbers will increase as the season kicks off… Katie is passionate and will do a great job,”
“Oh, and I should say – what a beautiful Island,” he said.
NIO kicked off their 8-week Junior competition in February, with divisions including 5-6’s, 7-8’s, 8-11’s and 12-15’s.
Katie is thrilled with how the competition has taken off, describing the community response as ‘overwhelmingly good’.
“The Junior comp has been constantly expanding and the kids are just loving it… We’ve had so much positive feedback from kids and parents with how great it is so far, which is awesome for us,” she said.
“It’s so inspiring and exciting to see all these kids get out there and play a sport that I love and have gotten out there and are all starting to love too,”
This week, NIO kicked off their inaugural Senior competition – which will run for eight rounds, plus finals.
“As of this far, we’ll only have one division as we’ve only heard back from enough people to make up 2-3 teams… The people that have put their names down are very keen to play,” Trickey said.
Looking forward, Katie aims to continue growing Oztag on the Island and hopes to in time – have NIO representative teams.
“My goal is to get as many people into this sport as possible so it can keep thriving over here for years to come… also to eventually get a rep team or two together to take away for state cup or nationals to represent Norfolk,” Trickey said.
For more information on Norfolk Island Oztag, head to their Facebook page, or contact Katie at email@example.com