The 2015 Federation of International Touch (FIT) World Cup was officially launched today in Sydney just five days out from the start of the event at C.Ex International Stadium in Coffs Harbour.
A total of 90 teams from 25 nations will descend on Coffs Harbour next week, 29 April – 3 May, to contest the five-day event across nine men’s and women's divisions.
Among those taking part in today's launch were Australian Men's Open player Ben Moylan and his brother, NRL and Penrith Panthers star Matt, who started his career in touch football.
The brothers were joined by international athletes from competing countries along with officials from the Federation of International Touch, Touch Football Australia, the National Rugby League and event partners, Destination NSW and Harvey Norman.
NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said the Touch Football World Cup was a fantastic event for Regional NSW.
"The FIT Touch Football World Cup is under a week away, and with over 2,000 participants in 90 teams from 25 countries set to take part, it will provide a massive boost to the local visitor economy in Coffs Harbour," he said.
"Supported by the NSW Government through our tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, the World Cup is a highlight on the 2015 Regional NSW Events Calendar and I wish all participants and organisers the best of luck.
"I'd also encourage everyone who attends to take some time to experience everything the Coffs Harbour region has to offer, from spectacular coastline to a great range of bars, shops and restaurants."
Host nation and current holders of the Touch World Cup, Australia, will be striving to continue its outstanding record, having won all seven World Cup titles to date. This is the third time Australia has hosted the event, after previously hosting the inaugural World Cup on the Gold Coast in 1988 and in Sydney in 1999.
Touch Football Australia CEO Colm Maguire said most teams had already arrived in Australia for the tournament and could not wait for the action to begin.
"It really does seem like yesterday we were in Edinburgh celebrating Australia’s win at the 2011 World Cup," he said.
"Here we are today at Sydney Harbour welcoming athletes to our great country for a festival of International Touch Football.
"Next we move to the Coffs Coast region, which provides the perfect setting for such an exciting international event.
"It is shaping as the biggest and we certainly hope the best Touch World Cup on record."
Secretary-General of FIT, Bill Ker praised the organisation and location of the event.
"I have no doubt that the 2015 World Cup in Australia will be the biggest and the most comprehensive World Cup in the 30 years of the Federation's existence," he said.
"I must say this has come about by the interest expressed by the 25 Member Nations who are attending the excellent venue at Coffs Harbour, the extraordinary sponsorship support and the efforts of the host nation, Australia.
"The work by Colm Maguire and his staff will ensure the staging of the event will be second-to-none - with all international visitors having an excellent experience not only from a World Cup viewpoint but an Australian hospitality perspective as well.”
Harvey Norman Chief Operating Officer John Slack-Smith, said the company was proud to have the opportunity to be part of the Coffs Harbour event.
"It will showcase the very best of the best in Touch Football," he said.
The NSW Government, through Destination NSW, is proud to partner with Touch Football Australia to secure major Touch Football events in NSW. This event is part of the NSW Government’s support for Touch Football, which follows also the Youth Trans Tasman event at Cronulla and the National Touch League in Coffs Harbour earlier this year.
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