The profile of touch football in Australia is continuing to grow, with the latest media watch statistics showing touch football news has reached around 9 million people in the first three months of this year. Australian Touch Association CEO, Bill Ker says the statistics are both exciting and also interesting for the development and promotion of touch football in the media arena. “The Australian Touch Association has embarked on a twelve month media watch campaign to obtain an understanding of the extent of mentions the sport has in the media nationally,” says Mr Ker. “”The media for the past three months has been extensive with a wide reach nationally.” “It was also determined to extend the boundaries of the watch to cover New Zealand as well, because this will enable the ATA to not only quantify the media coverage in Australia but compare it with coverage from the other largest international member of the Federation of International Touch,” explains Mr Ker. The month of March saw touch football receive 138 mentions in the print, radio, television or online media. This was double the number of mentions for the months of January and February. In terms of audience numbers, it is estimated that these 138 stories reached almost 3.2 million people. This result, combined with the results recorded for January and February, shows touch football news has reached around 6.4 million people this year alone through the forms of print, radio or television. Mr Ker says the internet is another big winner in terms of coverage, with the ATA website recording a record number of hits in recent months. “Especially pleasing for the ATA is the homepage hits of over 3.5 million since November last year. The month of March produced 40,000 hits short of 1 million, which is a direct reflection of the interest the NTL generates. The ATA has studied the usage patterns of the homepage and is aiming the direction of the homepage information towards servicing those usage trends,” Mr Ker highlights. Since the beginning of the year almost 2.6 million hits have been recorded by the ATA, while at the peak of the NTL competition over 65,000 hits were recorded in just one day. It also needs to be mentioned that these statistics on internet usage relate purely to the ATA website and do not include statistics on the other international, state and local websites, who have also noticed an improvement in their website hits. Therefore these statistics can be said to be just the tip of the iceberg! By far the biggest improver in media coverage of touch was the number of television news stories. The month of March saw 20 touch football news stories produced, being primarily in state and regional news broadcasts. This number is also almost double the total number for January and February combined. In terms of audience numbers, the television coverage is estimated to have reached just over 500,000 for January and February, and over 800,000 for the month of March. The print media, which includes local, regional, state and national newspapers, reached the largest audience, with 83 stories published and an estimated number of almost 2.2 million readers. Wagga Wagga, Yass and several Western Australian media outlets are doing especially well, receiving regular coverage of their local and regional events in print and on radio and television. The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are other areas becoming more regular in the coverage touch football receives there. Coffs Harbour and the NTL’s were also successful, with the tournament being reported on the daily regional television news bulletins, as well as securing print and radio stories. With regional media outlets always searching for news stories, especially those of local interest, it is important for the ATA and all state and local organisations to continue to look for opportunities for touch football development through the media. “All in all the ATA is very pleased with the results of the media watch and the homepage usage and looks forward with confidence to a wider awareness of this great sport in the forthcoming months,” says Mr Ker. Rachel Moyle, 0422233165
The State Cup will see teams from 53 affiliates across NSW contest 16 divisions, including the introduction of the Mixed B division.The three day tournament is in its 33rd year and 2009 is the 21st consecutive year that it has been played in Port Macquarie. All 23 fields at the precinct will be used for the 184 teams who have entered in the event. The following divisions will be contested at the event: two divisions in the Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Open’s divisions, as well as Men’s and Women’s 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, Men’s 35’s, 45’s and 50’s and Senior Mixed. The introduction of the Mixed B division has proved popular, with 12 affiliates taking advantage of the new division. Among the most popular divisions also include the Men’s Open B Division, with 21 teams, while the Men’s 50’s division has 16 teams in the running for the title.Wests Magpies will be looking to go for back to back titles in the Men’s Open division, after their win over Hornsby in the 2008 grand final. Canterbury Bulldogs and Wests Magpies will be aiming to make it four consecutive titles in the Women’s and Mixed Open divisions respectively, having won their respective titles in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The round games will be contested on Friday and Saturday, before finals commence on Sunday at 8am. The first of the grand finals will be played at 12.40pm. The Women’s Open final will be played at 1.50pm, followed by the Dash for Cash at 2.30pm. The Men’s Open final will be played at 2.40pm, with the Mixed Open final to follow at 3.30pm.Stay tuned for the next edition of the Touch Footy Show, which includes a preview of the NSW State Cup. NBN and Port Macquarie News have already started their coverage of the event. To view their stories, please click on the following links:http://www.nbntv.com.au/index.php/2009/12/01/wests-hot-favourite-for-state-cup/http://www.portnews.com.au/news/local/sport/general/state-cup-boasts-international-flavour/1695426.aspxhttp://www.portnews.com.au/news/local/sport/general/port-macquaries-state-cup-hopefuls/1695428.aspxFor more information, please visit the following websites: www.nswtouch.com.auhttp://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?assoc=856&pID=14%20
TORONTO – The mother of two young girls who were hit by stray bullets at a Toronto playground last month called Monday for better education and community support programs, not increased police presence, to curb gun violence in the city.Toronto must reduce the number of young people who turn to crime, Stacey King said at a meeting of the city’s board of health where ongoing research into community violence was being discussed.“Too many young kids are dying, too many young kids have access to guns,” King said. “We need to put a stop to this. When is this going to stop?”The June 14 shooting that sent King’s five and nine-year-old daughters to hospital was just one in a string of high-profile gun crimes this spring and summer that has led to increased calls for the municipal, provincial and federal governments to take action.Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders announced last week that 200 frontline officers will be added to the night shift over the course of the summer in an effort to deal with gun violence. Officers will not “saturate” certain neighbourhoods, but will be sent where they are needed, Saunders said.“It’s about being focused and strategic in our deployment,” he said. “This is not about turning communities upside down. That will never be the intention.”Toronto Mayor John Tory also recently announced that at least part of $15 million earmarked for efforts to curb gun violence would be going to community programs aimed at preventing youth from joining gangs.Police data shows gun violence has killed 27 people and injured 82 so far in 2018, compared with 17 deaths and 80 injuries at this time last year.“My kids are suffering from this,” King said. “My five-year-old got shot in the stomach … Do you want to know what she said to me that day? ‘Mommy am I going to die?’ For a five-year-old to know that, that is so wrong.”Officials need to look at the reasons why some youth pick up guns and others don’t, King told the 11 city councillors on the board of health.Children should be taught about issues that lie at the root of gun violence — including bullying and mental health — by Grade 3, King said.“We have to have more mentorship programs, we have to have more resources, we have to have more jobs for youth, we have to have more trades for them,” she said. “For (people) to say they want more cops … this is not going to put a stop to it. Having more cops is just going to cause more problems.”The board of health heard several submissions from support workers and concerned citizens as it considered a progress report on research into community violence.The research, begun in March, examines the extent to which people who live in the city are exposed to violence and how it affects their mental and physical health, a report by city staff said.The project will seek out “effective evidence-informed interventions” to mitigate community violence and its health effects. Research findings will be brought to the board of health by late 2019, staff said.— with files from Nicole Thompson.