The fast-growing sport of oztag is expanding from North Lakes to Redcliffe.
With the full signs up at North Lakes Oztag since last spring, a new venue is being planned on the peninsula.
The centre is set to open next summer at the Ray Frawley Fields, on Snook St, Clontarf, starting with matches one night per week.
It will be managed by Bek Robertson, the oztag venue manager at North Lakes, which has grown from 12 teams to more than 90, with 1000 players, in seven years.
“North Lakes maxed out last year,” says Bek, “there’s no more field space, so I asked (Oztag Queensland) if I can go to Redcliffe.”
Negotiations were held with Redcliffe Juniors Rugby Club, which is based at the Ray Frawley Fields and agreement has been reached.
Bek plans to start with mixed teams playing on Tuesday nights at the Redcliffe centre.
The aim of oztag, which was invented in 1992, is to get a tag on the side of your opponent’s shorts to stop them scoring.
Moves were made to launch the sport, for players from three years of age to seniors, in Redcliffe around eight years ago, but it did not take off.
However, the North Lakes centre at Woodside Community Centre on Discovery Dr, has grown with players from across the Moreton Bay Region playing twice a week.
“It’s a social sport, no training nights or weekends,” says Bek, who described it as rugby league “minus the tackling”.
It starts with programs for those aged 3-5 called Tiny Taggers right through to seniors. The oldest player at the North Lakes centre is 67.
North Lakes Oztag junior teams are now preparing for the Junior State Cup at Sunshine Coast Stadium on April 16-18. The Senior State Cup is on June 11-13 at the same venue.
Player pathways specialist Kurt Richards is heading up a team at the Dolphins working with junior clubs to identify and nurture emerging rugby league players. Four local boys have already been selected for the new academy program, with more to come.…