Local Oztag Competition Commences in Armidale as Part of SportUNE

The SportUNE Oztag competition kicked off in Armidale last week, a new and exciting opportunity to promote the wellbeing of the University and the regional community.  

Staff from Sport University of New England (SportUNE), reached out to the team at Australian Oztag (AO), eager to start up a local competition at the University’s campus in Armidale – a city in the Northern Tablelands region of New South Wales.

After much planning, the region’s first Oztag competition kicked off last Monday night, 19 July 2021, which saw ten teams compete in the Mixed division.

SportUNE Oztag Competition Coordinator, Justin Shaw deemed the opening night of competition a great success, anticipating more fast-paced, high-scoring games ahead of week two.

“We wanted this season to be a fun introduction to the game of Oztag and round one did not disappoint… despite the 3-degree weather we still ran all games, and everyone had a blast,” Shaw said.

“There were some really high-quality skills on display… I think by the end of the season, all the teams will be well versed in these skills, which will make for a tight and entertaining finals series,” he said.

Shaw said the community response has been fantastic since the competition’s inception.

“We really didn’t expect to get as many teams as we have, particularly in the Armidale’s Winter, so we’re stoked,” Shaw said.

“We couldn’t be more grateful to the players and community for their support in our first season; it drives us to make the competition better every week,” he said.

Shaw said he reached out to AO to discuss the potential of an Oztag competition in Armidale after witnessing the success of Tamworth Oztag over the past few years.

“We believe Armidale has fantastic potential to act as a middle ground between Tamworth and the coastal clubs like Coffs Harbour,” Shaw said.

“Luke Manahan has been such a fantastic help; Garry Semms has gone above and beyond to help train our referees and staff to ensure we’re prepared for a great competition,”

AO staff, Liam Haddock and Luke Manahan visit SportUNE Oztag prior to competition. Pictured with Coordinator, Justin Shaw.

“Pam Potts from Tamworth Oztag has also been a guiding presence and really helped out with firsthand advice on starting and running the comp,” he said.

SportUNE has always strived to deliver high quality competitions across a variety of sports, and it is believed that Oztag pairs really well with their criteria.

“One of our goals is to add value to the educational experience of students through the development of ‘life skills’ via Club and Committee involvement, and participation in sports administration, coaching, refereeing, and other accreditation courses,” Shaw said.

“Oztag fits in very well with this, especially when it ties in training for referees, and educational days with amazing athletes,” he said.

Shaw has big hopes for the future of SportUNE Oztag, the main being to introduce more divisions to the competition in 2022, including Men’s, Women’s, Mixed, and possibly a Kid’s division.

“Hopefully when the current COVID-19 situation is under control, we will have a strong competition and player base to interact with other Oztag organisations,” Shaw said.

“Perhaps we could collaborate with Tamworth and Coffs Harbour Oztag, for some bigger and bolder events,”

“These things will be in our sights, but for now, we want to focus on delivering a high-quality competition, to make sure we have the right foundations,” he said.

Although registrations for the current season are now closed, Shaw encourages the Armidale community to follow the SportUNE Oztag journey online and prepare for the next season by rallying friends, family colleagues or classmates.

All competition information is on their website, updates are posted via SportUNE Oztag Facebook page and for those interested in everything sport, competition highlights will be featured on the SportUNE Instagram page.

Any questions can be sent to SportUNE Oztag via their email or alternatively, contact Justin Shaw directly on 02 6773 1694.

SportUNE Oztag

Website https://www.sportune.com.au/oztag/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/suoztag  

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sportune2351

Phone – 02 6773 1694