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England awarded Tier 1 nation status by Federation of International Touch

The England Touch Association’s (ETA) progress across all areas of its organisation and operations has been recognised by the Federation of International Touch (FIT), which has awarded England with Tier 1 Nation status.

England is one of only three tier 1 nations, the others being Australia and New Zealand, and the following criteria informed the FIT Board’s decision in awarding the status:

  • Self-sufficiency
  • Attendance at World Cups
  • Sound administration
  • Large player base

Recent milestones achieved by the ETA include:

  • Retaining the status of being the number one nation on the field in Europe in 2022, with 11 Gold medals and three Silvers across the 11 categories played at the European Touch Championships and European Junior Touch Championships
  • The awarding of the hosting of the 2024 Touch World Cup at the University of Nottingham’s Highfields Sports Complex
  • The awarding of the hosting of the inaugural Atlantic Youth Touch Cup at the same venue this coming July, with teams coming from as far afield as South Africa, the USA, Cayman Islands and China, as well as from across Europe
  • The biggest ever domestic Touch tournament over the first May bank holiday weekend, with 46 teams competing in 10 categories at the 2023 Touch Nationals
  • Touch being included in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) calendar for the first time. This competition saw the ETA host its biggest ever domestic club competition
  • A partnership with Boing to create and promote a unique set of resources to provide teachers and coaches with information and support to introduce the specific core skills of Touch to new young players and schoolchildren

In addition to a small paid executive management team, the ETA has a volunteer workforce in excess of 130 individuals, across High Performance coaching, event management, regional development, finance and administration. Collectively they have helped drive Touch in England to a new level since coming out of the Covid lockdowns, with both the number of affiliated clubs and individual players now at record highs.

“It is a massive honour for England to be awarded Tier 1 Nation status by the Federation of International Touch,” says ETA Chair, Tim Loveridge.

“A great deal of work has been done over a number of years to get the ETA into this position, where we are regarded alongside Australia and New Zealand as one of the world’s leading nations, not just on the field but also in how we lead and administer the sport of Touch in England.

“However, we are still putting in building blocks for an even more positive future, having agreed partnerships to develop leagues at grassroots level across the country and developing new and unique resources for schools and new players.

“On behalf of all the ETA Board, I would like to thank FIT for the recognition, but more importantly, thank all of the ETA workforce and the broader network of volunteers in the regions and at clubs for all their contributions towards our continued successes.”

We are England Touch

Some space. A ball. Your mates. A game
Your team. A competition. Maybe a trophy or two
Work hard. Develop skills. Get selected. Represent your nation
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This is England Touch. Pick up a ball and play!