Oztag hits the City of Bendigo, VIC

by | Oct 10, 2022 | Latest News, National

Melbourne Oztag introduces new Junior competition in the City of Bendigo, set to kick off this summer.

Melbourne Oztag, run by licensee, John Carmody has been on a steady rise since its inception over ten years ago.

Currently running a senior competition in Kensington, Carmody felt it was time to expand to regions outside of Melbourne, starting with Bendigo – Victoria’s fourth largest city, located 1.5hours north-west of Melbourne.

“I am excited to see what will become of Bendigo Oztag in the next few seasons, as it’s such a great sporting city,” Carmody said.

“I have no doubt that once the locals are exposed to the game of Oztag, either seeing it, hearing about it or playing it, then they will continue to come back for more” he said.

Bendigo Oztag launches their inaugural competition mid-October, offering Juniors (Under 6s – Under 16s) the opportunity to stay active and play socially with friends.

Australian Oztag staff, Luke Manahan and Jordan Hollis visited Bendigo last month, and ran clinics at local schools to assist in generating interest ahead of the summer season.

Alongside John and competition convener, Marnie Gudge, they found there to be little knowledge of Oztag among students.

“The perception of ‘footy’ in Victoria is completely different from NSW, as they instantly associate it with AFL,” Manahan said.

“When we asked the students to pass the ball, they would kick it… From an entire school there was probably five kids that knew what Rugby league was,” he said.

However, students quickly adapted and interest in not only the game of Oztag, but the upcoming summer season became apparent among various year groups.

Marnie continues to receive interest every week, with plenty of Juniors wanting to give the game a go – a number of which are from the recent school clinic,” Carmody said.

Manahan is confident that Oztag has the potential to thrive in the state of Victoria (VIC), being a non-contact, social sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.

“Through the right channels and promotion, VIC Oztag definitely has potential – offering communities a different, inclusive sport is something that is appealing,” he said.

Carmody is committed to running successful competitions and introducing as many people to the sport as possible, with hope that local players form an interest in competing at a representative level in the years to come.  

“I would like to take this game all over VIC and have local players represent Melbourne as either an invitational team at NSW State Cup or Victoria at Nationals,” he said.

“I feel that Bendigo will be the first step into the regional market down here, so if there are any areas out there that might be interested in getting Oztag started then please feel free to contact me.”

For more information on Bendigo Oztag’s competition and registration, contact Marnie on 0447 946 927 or email bendigooztag@gmail.com

They currently hold weekly Come and Try Nights, focusing on team building and developing Oztag skills in preparation for the upcoming season.