FOR the first time in many years, the Leeton Touch Association will have two sides competing at the NSW Touch Football Junior State Cup this weekend.
To be held in Wagga from Friday until Sunday, Leeton's under 14s boys and under 8s girls will both be taking part and competing throughout the highly-acclaimed event, which is now split into a northern and southern conference.
This is the first time Leeton has sent two teams the competition and the first time in many years that the association has competed in the state cup.
In the lead up to the event, both teams have been training hard and working towards their goals.
The competition is traditionally known as being highly-competitive, with teams from all over the state taking part.
Thousands of players, their parents and coaches are converging on Wagga in the lead up to the event, with the Leeton sides eagerly awaiting their time on the field.
Leeton Touch Association president Jackson Goman, who is also the coach of the under 14s boys side, said both teams were looking good ahead of their first games, which get underway on Friday.
"We put the word out there to see what the interest would be like in sending teams to the state cup, so we're really happy to be taking two," Goman said.
"Both teams have been working really hard.
"They will be up against some tough competition, but they are all looking forward to the experience."
The competition ranges from under 8s to under 18s divisions and the hope is the Leeton sides will now stick together in the coming years, getting stronger as a team, and compete in the event in the years to come.
The under 14s boys will have 26 sides in their division, which is split into four pools.
They will play four games on Friday and two on Saturday.
Depending on their results, they will play Sunday if they make the final 16.
For the under 8s, who are still learning the game and all the techniques, the aim will be for them to keep playing over the years and build their skills as a team.
They will have seven teams in their division. The top four sides will progress to the semi-finals on Sunday after the matches on Friday and Saturday.
The under 8s are being coached by Kellie Goman and Taylah Ronfeldt.
"The girls are only a new team, but they have made fantastic progress in just a couple of months of training," Goman said.
"There's a lot of talent there, so it bodes well for the future of touch in Leeton."
Both the under 14s and the under 8s will be playing against other regional sides, but also teams from the metropolitan Sydney area.
"Both teams will be playing against some really good sides, but they will be definitely be there to give it their best crack," Goman said.
"It's about the experience.
"The state cup is a well-known event and there's always a lot of fantastic players there. Hopefully by sending teams this year we can build the sport up again here in Leeton and be part of the competition consistently."
The matches will be played at Wagga's Jubilee Park and Conolly Park.