the Australian Junior Oztag Championships are returning to Coffs Harbour for a third straight year on Friday.
the Australian Junior Oztag Championships are returning to Coffs Harbour for a third straight year on Friday. Leigh Jensen

Oztag Championships draws thousands in $4m boost for Coffs

OZTAG is once again bringing thousands of people to Coffs Harbour.

The Australian Junior Oztag Championships which get under way on Friday at the C.ex Coffs International Stadium and the neighbouring Coffs Coast Sport and Leisure Park will feature 180 teams of players aged from 8 to 17.

That equates to 3000 players.

When you take into account the talented juniors have travelled to Coffs Harbour with family members as well, tournament director Bill Harrigan predicts about 10,000 people will attend the three days of play over the weekend.

"The biggest thing for us is we can't believe the growth," Harrigan said.

"The popularity of the sport, particularly among juniors is growing at a rapid rate."

Harrigan said some associations even asked if they could field two teams in some age group this weekend such is the large number of players they have to choose from.

"I had to say 'no you can't' because if we did it would just be too big," he said.

This weekend is one of four big Oztag tournaments that will be held in Coffs Harbour over the next six months.

The senior national championships are being held here over the first weekend of November.

The NSW Junior State Cup is being played in February while the Senior State Cup will bring another throng of Oztag players to Coffs Harbour when that tournament kicks off on March 31.

A total of 22 fields have been marked out throughout the sporting precinct and Daniel Heather, Coffs Harbour City Council's section leader for stadium and major events, said he expects this weekend's tournament to bring somewhere in the vicinity of $4million into the local economy.



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