ETA helps deliver the O2 Touch Twickenham Takeover
Staff from the England Touch Association were at Twickenham last weekend as part of the O2 Touch Takeover of the national stadium.
Tim Osborne, Dom Tripp, Will Serocold and Gareth Hinds provided expertise and support to help grow this code of rugby, refereeing games, giving guidance about refereeing to club representatives, and getting into the relaxed, social spirit of the day at the UV Touch Rave.
“It was good to see a positive, inquiring group of ambassadors and club leaders looking to grow the game,” Osborne commented. “More and more people are playing Touch at O2 Touch Centres, and each year more O2 Touch clubs are wanting to be a part of the ETA’s programme of tournaments and events, which is very encouraging both for us as an Association and for growing our sport as a whole.
“It was a positive day working alongside Carolyn Flowers and Ed Curran from England Rugby to deliver the various components, and we all enjoyed it.”
"I’d just like to pass on my thanks to the England Touch team for their efforts,” added Carolyn Flowers from England Rugby. “Everyone who came were fantastic and did a wonderful job. Thank you again for you and your team’s help."
The England Touch Association is seeing more and more O2 Touch teams compete in the ETA’s various competitions, and players from those clubs represent England on the international stage, too.
Touch is a rapidly growing code of rugby, with tens of thousands of men and women playing at O2 Touch Centres and ETA-affiliated clubs across the country each week.
While O2 Touch is oriented around the social side of the sport, the England Touch Association (ETA) provides a framework for clubs looking to progress competitively. There are four national tournaments – the Belief National Touch Series, SPORTTAPE Challenge Touch Series, and Steeden Development Touch Series for mixed teams, and the Men’s and Women’s Touch Cup for single-gender teams.
The ETA’s partnership with England Rugby is also helping those players who wish to progress further in the sport at a representative level, as well as developing referees and coaches.
International tournaments are held at all age categories, with England having sent teams to the recent Senior Touch Championships in Edinburgh, with upcoming competitions including the FIT Premiership Permit tournament – also in Edinburgh – and August’s Junior Touch Championships in Dublin.
Next summer will see England host the European Touch Championships in Nottingham, where thousands of players from across the continent will battle it out for the right to be crowned the best in Europe.