Kids have taken to Turbo Touch with massive enthusiasm at schools throughout the Waipa district. Te Awamutu Sports Club programme facilitator Ollie Ward is playing a key role assisting in getting the game into the schools.
He has been travelling around the district introducing the game to as many kids as possible. “Turbo Touch is an easy game for students of all ages to learn,” says Ward. “It fully involves boys and girls as both genders are equal in their ability to score a touchdown. “Turbo Touch gives so many opportunities to build teamwork and fully engages all five players on the court.
It can be played indoors or outdoors on a netball or basketball sized court, AstroTurf or field – even on the beach.”
Ward knows first hand the thrill that can be achieved from playing the latest sport-craze. A Te Awamutu team comprising Ward, Hana Bryant, Jazz Emery, Georgia Davies, Herewini Hohepa,Tairoa Crean, Devante Waho and Ifor Jones won the Shield Final at the Auckland Turbo Touch Club Champs at the Trust Arena in Auckland in September, 2015.
They finished the champs with a record of played eight games, won six, drew one, lost one, impressing all. None of the team had previously played the sport, illustrating how easy Turbo Touch is to grasp. There is a strong chance that Te Awamutu will attempt to defend its title next month.
Ward says the sport is jampacked with action and perfect for all fitness levels and abilities. Unlike traditional Touch, the ball can be passed forwards, backwards, sideways, any way
you like, with teams only having two possessions to create a Touchdown. It creates an expressive style of play where the glory can be shared by the whole team.
The Student Training Programme involves Ward teaching Turbo Touch directly to the students during school time. Teachers have adopted the game, not only to increase fundamental big ball skills, communication and all round fun with PE but also as a leadership course for students due to the simplicity of the game and minimum rules.
Teachers training can be incorporated so the game can be continued when he leaves. People from all over New Zealand are now getting together with their friends, family and colleagues to take to the Turbo Touch field or court. As a cross-training option for other sports, it’s the perfect social sport to keep people active and on-game.
Turbo Touch was developed by Touch New Zealand in association with Ike TapineWilson and George AlbertJahnke, two Touch players who wanted to create a sport that could be played all year, indoor and out, that a wide range of people could enjoy. It launched in Wellington in 2009, with competitions in Auckland, Northland, Tauranga, Central and South Island close behind.
The demand for Turbo Touch in schools continues as the sport develops throughout New Zealand. Turbo Touch has now underway to more than 50,000 children in NZ schools. As part of the pathways, Touch NZ is now offering after school programmes and Turbo Touch competitions which can be run at schools or at a local venue.
Ward hopes to have a school/ adult module running throughout summer. Watch the Facebook page for Have A Go Nights — there is one this Sunday.