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41 years after the first event, the 2023 Gold Coast Titans All Schools (GCTAS) Touch winners have been decided, bringing to a close the five-day touch football tournament played at the world-class Gold Coast Performance Centre on the Gold Coast, Queensland.
The event is the largest touch football competition in the world, with more than 7500 students representing 520 teams going head to head in over 1800 games across 28 fields. Tournament Director Peter Bell congratulated all students, schools and officials for their participation.
“Thank you to our Gold Coast Titans All Schools community for another fantastic event and edge of your seat competition with the results of many games determined in drop-offs, Peter stated.
“A huge shout out to our 380-plus referees, and I must also acknowledge our event partners, Major Events Gold Coast, The Gold Coast Titans, Inferno, Queensland Touch Football, Village Roadshow Theme Parks and Polaris Off road Australia. We simply couldn’t offer our thousands of participants and spectators such a spectacular tournament without your valued and greatly appreciated support.
St Mary’s College (Toowoomba) claimed the first final, taking out the 13 Boys 5-4 against Miami State High (Gold Coast) in spectacular fashion with a drop-off needed to crown the champion. St Mary’s College captain Lane Madden said the team faced strong competition. “We’ve really loved this competition, we went through undefeated with a lot of tough games throughout the finals,” he said. “The feeling of winning All Schools is hard to explain, no words can explain how fun it was.”
In the 13 Girls final, locals Palm Beach Currumbin State High School stormed home to claim the win 5-1 against St Aidan’s Anglican.
Palm Beach co-captain Tamarni Kelly said working as a team was the defining factor in securing the win. “We really worked for each other that game, every time we made a mistake we just lifted our heads and kept going,” she said. “The start of the tournament was a bit rough, the more games we played the better we got, we are stoked to get the win today.”
The Cathedral College (Rockhampton) showed up locals Southport State High School in the 15 Girls final, taking the win 2-1. Captain Demi Sandilands said the win was the icing on the cake after a great tournament experience. “It’s an incredible feeling to walk away with the win, for the younger girls in our team that is the third time they have won at All Schools,” she said.
“We were a bit stressed and nervous heading into the game, we felt a bit of pressure, but we played the game we wanted to play and obviously it paid off. We already can’t wait to come back next year and hopefully go back to back.”
Keebra Park State High School (Gold Coast), the breeding ground of many professional athletes added another feather to their cap by ruining The Cathedral College aspirations of a clean sweep of the 15 age group, defeating them 6 to 5 in the 15 Boys final.
Keebra’s Qwayde Luke Wiremu Whakatihi Shaw said the team had great fun with the tournament atmosphere. “This year’s All Schools was huge, to have everyone from around Queensland is awesome,” he said. “Our team is very close, we all play league together and are good mates, it’s great to come here and have fun with it.”
St Aidan’s Anglican Girls School (Brisbane) celebrated a three-peat in 18 Girls defeating Moreton Bay Girls College (Brisbane) 5-3. St Aidan’s coach Levi Te Namu said the unconventional preparation his team had for the tournament didn’t affect their finals performance. “It’s a bittersweet moment this win, it’s been a hard couple of weeks for the team, and I couldn’t be more proud of this team. We would normally have quite an intensive build-up, this year however it was a bit more relaxed, it was more about getting their mental states ready. The girls are a really awesome bunch, All Schools allow them the opportunity to put on display what they have been working on all year, it’s an awesome social opportunity as well.”
Travelling all the way from Townsville proved fruitful for Ignatius Park College defeating Wavell State High School (Brisbane) 6-2 in the 18 Boys final. Captain Aidan Fitzpatrick said the team worked hard to defend their 2022 title. “It has been a long week, pretty cold weather for us and a few of our boys were backing up from another footy carnival,” he said. “To go back to back is awesome, we were really keen to achieve it so for the hard work to pay off is great. It’s our final year playing at All Schools, our team really has been like a brotherhood so to get the win together at our last one is just an awesome feeling.”
In the last final of the day, Emmaus College (Rockhampton) defeated St Joseph’s College (Toowoomba) in the 18 Mixed final, taking the win 9-4. Emmaus College team captain Slade McMeeken hopes the team will continue their dominance well into the future. “Our coach Gary always gets a little emotional, we love playing well for him,” he said. “Obviously a few of us will be graduating at the end of the year but I hope the ones that are staying keep playing well and continue to build the legacy. When one of the sporting teams does really well it’s great for the school community, we can’t wait to get back home and celebrate with everyone.”
Congratulations to all the 2023 Gold Coast Titans All Schools Touch winners:
13 Boys – St Mary’s College (Toowoomba)
13 Girls – Palm Beach Currumbin State High School (Gold Coast)
15 Boys – Keebra Park State High School (Gold Coast)
15 Girls – The Cathedral College (Rockhampton)
18 Boys – Ignatius Park College (Townsville)
18 Girls – St Aidan’s Anglican Girls School (Brisbane)
18 Mixed – Emmaus College (Rockhampton)
Planning has begun for next year’s Gold Coast Titans All Schools when it returns to the Gold Coast, Wednesday 2 to Sunday 6 October 2024. Peter Bell suggests that you to mark it in your calendar now.