All Nations Touch Tournament confirmed
All Nations Touch Tournament confirmed for Christchurch
Christchurch has been confirmed as the host city for the inaugural All Nations Touch Championships. The international tournament will be held at Queen Elizabeth II Park 26-29 October, 2005.
The All Nations Touch Championships will involve International Masters and Open age grade touch players, in men’s, women’s and mixed teams.
The announcement of the awarding of the inaugural event to Christchurch was met with enthusiasm by Touch New Zealand. The Federation of International Touch (FIT) sanctioned the tournament at its general meeting in late October 2003. FIT Secretary General Bill Ker wished Touch New Zealand and Christchurch City Council every success with planning and staging of the event in 2005.
The 2005 event will attract approximately 120 teams from 29 FIT member nations, bringing some 1500 to 2000 people into the city for the four-day tournament. This is expected to generate an economic benefit running into the millions of dollars for the city and the region.
The All Nations Touch Championships idea came about after the disappointment of Touch NZ, in conjunction with Christchurch City Council, not securing the hosting rights for the 2007 Masters and Open Touch World Cup after a bid in June this year. Subsequently, Christchurch City Council put a proposition to Touch NZ to host an international touch tournament in Christchurch at Queen Elizabeth Park every four years.
The Leisure Manager for Christchurch City Council, Alistair Graham, is thrilled to have finally secured a international touch event for the city after 18 months of work. “Christchurch City Council is very grateful to Touch New Zealand for securing this international touch tournament for the city ,” he says. “This further enhances Christchurch’s reputation for attracting and hosting large international sporting events.”
Touch NZ has also recently confirmed that the 2005 Masters and Open Grade Touch Nationals will be held in Christchurch at Queen Elizabeth II Park. This event will attract 1600 people from all over New Zealand. Christchurch last hosted this event in 1992. The 2005 Touch Nationals will provide an excellent lead-in to the All Nations Touch Tournament.