The 2023 Junior Australian Championships has kicked off in Coffs Harbour, with the West Sydney Tigercubs leading the race for region champions.
It was an incredible first day of competition at C.ex Stadium as players took the field with energy to burn – determined to showcase their months of preparation.
The skill and sheer tenacity on display proved just that, and made for a spectacular atmosphere on day one.
NRL and NRLW legends, Josh Reynolds and Sam Bremner were amongst all the action today – taking photos, signing autographs and enjoying the level of talent across the park.
At the conclusion of Friday’s round games, West Sydney Tigers are leading the race for Region Champions, with 8 teams across the 18 divisions sitting at the top of their table. Central Coast and Steelers trail close behind.
The following teams currently sit undefeated, putting them in a promising position heading into day two.
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AO look forward to what’s in store tomorrow, and wish all teams the best of luck as they lay it all on the line ahead of Sunday’s finals.
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.
Senior Australian Region Champions, the East Coast Dolphins have made a generous donation of their $2000 prize money to the Sydney Children’s Hospital Respiratory Department.
The East Coast Dolphins were crowned Region Champions following the wide success of their teams at the 2022 Senior Nationals tournament in November.
Consisting of Sutherland Shire (Cronulla), South East Sydney (Souths), Engadine Heathcote, Northern Sydney and Northern Beaches senior associations, the Dolphins region were awarded with $2000 prize money.
On behalf of the East Coast Dolphins committee, Jodi Lehmann, from Sutherland Shire Senior Oztag, commented on the reason behind their choice of charity.
“We chose the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation as it’s one that’s close to our heart… we are delighted to have been given the opportunity to give back to a charity that has directly helped players within our Dolphins community,” Jodi said.
“We appreciate everything this charity does to help and support young children,” she said.
The Respiratory Department at the Sydney Children’s Hospital (SCH), Randwick provides care to children with a wide range of respiratory conditions.
The department work tirelessly to support these children and their families, while striving to find cures for rare lung diseases so that young people can live their best lives.
The donation from the East Coast Dolphins will be used to support the department’s ongoing work, helping to fund vital equipment, provide programs, enhance staffing and support new research initiatives.
“Many of the conditions that the respiratory team at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick treat are invisible, yet have a huge impact on the lives of our patients and their families – attending school or day care, going on school camp or participating in sport,” a representative from SCHF said.
“From all of us here at SCHF we would like to thank the incredible generosity of the East Coast Dolphins Oztag team for their donation to the respiratory unit at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick… Thank you for going all in for kids’ health,” they said.
The East Coast Dolphins generosity will have a real and lasting impact on the lives of sick children and their families, and will help to support the ongoing work of the SCH Respiratory Department.
To make your own donation to the SCHF, please see below.
Junior Australian Region Champions, the West Sydney Tigercubs have donated their entire prize money to two charitable organisations – The Starlight Children’s Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
The West Sydney Tigercubs, consisting of Nepean, Hills Bulls and Norwest Junior associations, dominated the 2022 Junior Nationals tournament, where seven of their teams were crowned champions.
On behalf of the Tigers committee, Stuart Hartley, Nepean Oztag Licensee, addressed the group’s decision to donate to these organisations.
“Our decision to support these charities is their direct relationship with children,” Stuart said.
“We’d also like to thank Australian Oztag for the opportunity to support these charities through the Championship prize money,” he said.
The Starlight Children’s Foundation (SCF) is a non-profit organisation that aims to brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families during their time of need.
It provides entertainment, education, and support services to children in hospitals and communities across Australia.
“A huge thank you to Oztag for your very generous donation, we really can’t thank you enough,” Stacey, a representative from the SCF said.
“Know that your support really helps Starlight to bring fun, joy and laughter to seriously ill kids and their families because happiness really matters!” Stacey said.
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) on the other hand, provides accommodation and support services to families with seriously ill children.
The organisation operates a network of houses around the world, providing families with a home away from home during their child’s treatment.
“On behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities Greater Western Sydney, it is absolutely heart-warming to see your generosity surround our families,” RMHC Fundraising Coordinator, George Tsokos said.
“When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness, it impacts the whole family. This is why your donation is so important… You give them a place to feel safe and supported when they need it the most… Thank you for making an everlasting difference,” George said.
The donation from the West Sydney Tigercubs proves the positive impact that sports can have on the community – the act of giving back and making a difference in the lives of others.
To make your own donation to the SCF or the RMHC, please see below.
The last major tournament of the year has come to a successful end, with the 2022 Senior National Champions now crowned.
The highly-anticipated Senior Australian Championships kicked off on Friday 4 November in Coffs Harbour, with 129 teams determined to claim the National title.
In scorching conditions, players rose to the occasion – determined to leave nothing on the field as many vied for Australian selection for the 2023 World Cup in Limerick, Ireland.
Sunday’s Finals was one of the greatest displays of Oztag in recent years, with numerous qualifiers sent into extra-time – proving the standard of our elite teams across the country.
Australian Oztag are pleased to announce the 2022 Senior Region Champions, on 82 points, the East Coast Dolphins.
The East Coast Dolphins lead the race all weekend, finishing strong with 11 of their 12 teams qualifying for Semis, four progressing to the Grand Final, and three taking home gold.
The Men’s 60s division is comprised of five teams, two of which represent the East Coast Dolphins – Cronulla and Souths. As Cronulla took home gold, their points were also counted towards the East Coast Dolphins.
Central Coast finished in second on 79 points, and Metro Marlins in third on 40 points.
The East Coast Dolphins will receive a $2000 prize for taking out the Championship title – $1000 for their region and $1000 for their chosen charity.
Below are the 2022 Senior Australian Championships Grand Final results. Congratulations to all crowned Champions.
Mens 20s: East Coast Dolphins defeated Illawarra Steelers 5-4
Womens 20s: Central Coast defeated Southern Storm 5-1
Mixed 20s: Metro Marlins defeated East Coast Dolphins 4-3
Mens Opens: Central Coast defeated Wolves 8-2
Womens Opens: Wolves defeated ACT 3-2
Mixed Opens: Southern Storm defeated Sydney Warriors 10-5
Men’s 30s: West Tigers defeated Central Coast 5-3
Womens 30s: Sydney Patriots defeated ACT 2-1
Senior Mixed: Vipers defeated West Tigers 9-3
Mens 40s: Central Coast defeated ACT 10-4
Womens 40s: Central Coast defeated West Tigers 3-2
Mens 45s: Southern Storm defeated Illawarra Steelers 5-2
Mens 50s: East Coast Dolphins defeated Central Coast 6-2
Mens 55s: East Coast Dolphins defeated Illawarra Steelers 8-3