Hats off for Parra Touch!
After falling short in 2016, Parra Touch stood tall in the recent Junior State Cup in Port Macquarie when the under 14 girls won the state championship.
“It’s been nearly five years in the making for some of these young ladies,” said coach Mark Donkin. “A core group of girls have been playing down at Doyle ground and representing Parra since they were 8 or 9 years old. To win a State Championship has just been fantastic, especially after coming so close in 2016.”
“The girls lost the under 12 grand final in the last 15 seconds two years ago and it was just heartbreaking,” added assistant coach Mark Fitzhenry. “To their credit, the girls regrouped and put in an enormous amount of training and effort. They got there for Parra but more importantly, they set goals, worked hard and got the championship they deserved.”
Star winger Hannah Mathews said the talent right across the entire playing group was the key to their success, “It was just so hot up there but all of the 14 players in the squad put in long playing minutes over the three day carnival. We could rotate players and keep our intensity.”
There was no better display of that intensity than in the last seconds of the final against Orange when captain Yasmin Aloisio scored a 50 metre touchdown to seal the win.
“My heart was just beating out of my chest but I kept saying to myself, This is it..this is it.” Aloisio remembered with a smile.
“I was just screaming at Yasmin to run,” teammate Amelia Polley said, “It was just the best feeling when she dived over.”
Despite a lot of congestion in summer sports, Touch Football is a popular with young females in Greater Western Sydney.
“Touch really complements other sports like little athletics, tennis and swimming,” said Parramatta Touch President Rod Hetherington.” It reinforces fitness, fun and co-ordination in young women and our competition caters for all ability levels. It’s young female role models like our champion under 14 girls that attract kids from all over our region. Kids from all different backgrounds come to experience the fun of playing park touch and then strive for the excitement of representing the Eels at State Cup level.”
“I also play Netball and AFL during the winter plus run at Parramatta Little Athletics when that starts in spring,” Mathews said, “ I enjoy Touch the most, I even play with my father and his mates in a mixed comp during winter, It’s just so much fun despite doing all the work.” she grinned.
Parramatta Touch catered for well over 600 players last season, ranging in age from 4 right through 67. It’s a busy association that runs comps right through the year including supporting various Parra sides in the elite Vawdon Cup competition.
“It’s a very diverse sporting community that really reflects the culture of Parramatta and we couldn’t do it without the assistance from Parramatta Leagues. Their financial support ranges from purchasing balls for our under 7 teams right through to subsidising uniforms for our elite players. The Parra Touch committee can’t thank them enough. They’ve backed us for many years and the players are all proud to have Parra Leagues displayed on their blue and gold playing singlets.”
“Parra Leagues sense of community is second to none,” added Donkin “We’re encouraging all of our families to get down to the club and enjoy the atmosphere at the home of the Eels.”
Will the under 14 Girls be celebrating another championship in 2019?
“I ‘ve already got a booking at Thinga Palace for February next year,” said Donkin “The yum Cha will be on me!”
For more information and to get in contact with Parra Touch Football CLICK HERE.