Ipswich's Super 8s build on fine traditions
FATHER of the modern Olympics and founder of the IOC, Pierre de Coubertin, once said that success comprises in itself the seeds of its own decline and sport is not spared by this law.
Fortunately for the Ipswich Touch Association (ITA) and the Ipswich Super 8s, this could not be any further from the truth.
The success of touch football in Ipswich owes its longevity to the supportive community which holds the sport in high regard.
"The Ipswich Touch Association has always been woven by a rich social fabric," said Super 8 volunteer Jason Maloney.
"I look around and see people from clubs like Tigers, Rhondda and United all here working for the common good of our association and of course the Super 8s."
Years ago, many players made their foray into touch football by playing bare-footed on Sunday mornings around the parks of Ipswich. For many, it was the social aspect of coming together on weekends with friends and family that forged their love of the sport.
For those more able and driven, touch football also offered numerous opportunities for players to experience touch football at state, national and international levels.
Since the 1980s, Ipswich Touch Association has had many of its members represent, coach and manage Queensland and Australian teams, or blow the whistle at events like the State of Origin, Trans-Tasman Tests and World Cups.
Nothing much has changed over the years except games are played mid-week and shoes are worn. A social element to the sport remains along with a number of opportunities to play against the best the sport has to offer.
The Super 8s provide one such pathway to the national titles.
Many in the current crop of Ipswich Super 8 players bear surnames synonymous with touch football in the city. Names like Notley, Leisemann, Reynolds, Verrenkamp, Borg, O'Sullivan and Sherman are among those families.
The parents of these players are those who cut their teeth on the frost-laden ovals of Ipswich in the 80s and 90s and who then shared their passion for touch football with their children.
Like their parents they have the desire to play at an elite level for Queensland or Australia.
The Ipswich Touch Association develops players from grassroots levels.
The seeds of success are sown as players progress through the junior ranks via the supportive environment established by the Ipswich Falcons' coaches.
Combine that with the support from local business owners at the senior level and suddenly the soil is fertilised and watered enabling the association to further develop the senior playing stocks via the Super 8 tournament.
For the second year in a row, numerous Ipswich sponsors have lined up to have their name associated with the Ipswich Super 8 brand. These businesses include: Anthony Bauer Plumbing, Brothers' Leagues Club, iThink Property, Heritage City Photos, Choices Flooring by Mallett's, Physioactive, David Hill, Ikonic, GJ Walsh and Co, McNamara and Associates and Chris Patterson Bobcat Hire.
Business names are announced regularly at the venue in the lead up to games and are visible on signage around Jim Finimore Oval.
Week 4 is sponsors round. The ITA hosts sponsors at tonight's game, acknowledging the contribution they made to the series success.
With only two weeks of matches left, teams in the women's division are jostling for a spot in the finals.
The Saints, who remain undefeated, and second-placed Cobras, are probably the only two teams guaranteed a finals' berth.
Cobras 2 and Brothers' hold onto a three-point gap to fifth.
In the men's competition, the Saints boast a perfect record to sit in a commanding position on the ladder. Both the Swans and the Cobras are nipping at the Saints' heals.
Rounding out the top four are Odoyle, who enjoy a handy four point margin over their nearest rival, the Hurricanes.
The Super 8's excitement continues at Jim Finimore Oval tonight, from 6.30pm.
State of play
Ipswich Super 8s Round 5 women's results: Brothers def Force 9-5, Falcons def IGGS 12-6, Swans def Cobras 3-0, Cobras 2 def Warriors 8-0.
Rd 6 women: Brothers def Cobras 2 5-3, Cobras 1 def Falcons 6-1, Warriors def IGGS 6-3, Swans def Force 6-0.
Rd 5 men: Odoyle def Titans 8-2, Cobras def Natives 16-3, Saints def Warriors 13-3, Swans def Hurricanes 6-0.
Rd 6 men: Cobras def Warriors 16-4, Titans drew Natives 6-6, Odoyle def Hurricanes 5-2, Saints def Swans 8-5.