Former NRLreferee and now Oz Tag chief executive officer, Bill Harrigan, during a visit to Coffs Harbour yesterday to promote t
Former NRLreferee and now Oz Tag chief executive officer, Bill Harrigan, during a visit to Coffs Harbour yesterday to promote t

Oz Tag coup for Coffs

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

LIKE so many other sports recently, OzTag has jumped on board the Coffs Harbour bandwagon and decided that this is the ideal place to run a major sporting event.

The latest craze in recreational football is now bringing the State Cup, one of it's showpiece tournaments to Coffs Harbour for a three year period starting at the end of March.

On hand yesterday to make the announcement about the OzTag titles finding a new home was former leading NRL referee and now CEO of OzTag Australia, Bill Harrigan.

Harrigan admits that it's just not him who's excited about the three year tenure in Coffs Harbour but also the supporters and players as well.

"The good thing is the stability and coming to an area like Coffs Harbour which really is a holiday resort town, so it gives all our people an opportunity to say 'Right, this is not just going away to do the tournament, it's also going away as a weekend' if they tack on a couple of extra days which they can," the former leading referee said.

"It's that atmosphere when you go to a holiday destination.

"In the past we've had it at Woolongong and Tamworth and it's more about going there for the tournament. When you have it here we're having the tournament but it's also holiday mode."

The sport has been growing in participation numbers by roughly 20 per cent each year of late and Harrigan believes that concentrating on the recreational side of the sport has added to it's appeal.

"I try to keep it recreational, even though this is rep and a lot of people love their rep stuff, my bread and butter as CEO is still the people that want to go down on a Tuesday or Wednesday, play their game and have a beer then go home," he explained.

"I really look after the recreational side of it and I think by having the State Cup here which is the rep scene, it still keeps that holiday mode and recreational style about and that's what I like."

A total of 83 teams competed at last year's State Cup and the aim for the upcoming March tournament is for that number to get over 100.

If OzTag Australia reach that goal it will mean that around 1500 players will flock to the area as well as large numbers of fans, supporters and officials.



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