The Federation of International Touch (FIT) and England Touch Association (ETA) has today announced that the 2024 Touch World Cup will be hosted at the University of Nottingham’s Highfields Sports Complex between July 15t and 21, 2024.
Highfields Sports Complex has become synonymous with major international Touch events over the past few years, having hosted the European Touch Championships in 2018 and 2022, and has been awarded the Atlantic Youth Touch Cup for summer 2023.
And now the biggest international tournament of them all, the Touch World Cup, will be taking over the complex for seven days of outstanding action featuring the best players in the world.
This will be the first Touch World Cup since 2019’s event in Putrajaya, Malaysia, where 120 teams from across the globe competed across 11 divisions for the prized winners’ medals. Australia dominated to retain their overall title as world champion nation, with the other medals being shared between New Zealand, Japan, Scotland, England, France, Cook Islands, South Africa and Singapore.
FIT’s Events Director, Gary Reynolds, says that Highfields Sports Complex is a worthy venue for the global game’s most prestigious event.
“Highfields Sports Complex has repeatedly shown that it has everything needed for a top level international Touch event,” he commented. “The fields are outstanding, as are the facilities, and all of the teams will be able to stay in accommodation which is within easy walking distance of the fields themselves.
“When we awarded England as the host nation of the next Touch World Cup, Nottingham was at the top of our list of potential venues, and we’re delighted that the agreement has been finalised with the University of Nottingham.”
England Touch Association Chief Executive Officer, Chris Simon, says that the experience of hosting repeated European Touch Championships means that Highfields Sports Complex will be well prepared to be a Touch World Cup venue.
“The 2018 and 2022 Euros gave us an opportunity to hone how we use Highfields as a venue, and we will be putting those lessons into practice at this summer’s Atlantic Youth Touch Cup and then the 2024 Touch World Cup,” he said.
“The University of Nottingham’s team have been really positive to work with and they are as excited as we are to be welcoming the best nations from across the world to the heart of England and a venue which has become very familiar to Europe’s international teams.”
Nottingham’s key stakeholders are all looking forward to making this a Touch World Cup to remember and working with theETA to provide a legacy in participation in Touch across the city and county. Touch is already firmly established in the area with the Nottingham Touch Club and local leagues, growing participation at both universities and introduction of the game in many local schools and colleges.
“We are delighted to have been chosen to host both the 2023 Atlantic Youth Touch Cup and now the 2024 Touch World Cup atthe University of Nottingham,” said Professor Shearer West, Vice Chancellor, University of Nottingham. “This golden opportunity for the city and the University builds on the strong interest for Touch in the local area and the wider appeal of the game for health and wellbeing.
“As the first city to host the World Cup in England, this is an important responsibility, and we are proud to play such a pivotalrole in helping to showcase and grow the game. We are equally pleased to see the sport being introduced into the competitive BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) programme this year and look forward to seeing our students in competition.”
“As a global University, we are both excited and honoured to welcome our friends from around the world to Nottingham.”
The event has the backing of Nottingham’s City Council, too.
“We are delighted that Nottingham will be hosting the Touch World Cup and we look forward to welcoming the players, coaches, officials and supporters in 2024,” Councillor Pavlos Kotsonis, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Planning, said.
“It’s a great opportunity to bring the game to a wider audience, supporting the council’s agenda to encourage participation in physical activity. Nottingham has a strong history of hosting international events and the Touch World Cup will provide significant economic benefits to the city and the region.
“We look forward to working with the England Touch Association and other partners in the city to raise the profile of the tournament and highlight the inclusivity of the game.”
Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Communities and Climate Change, Cllr Abby Brennan, added: “This is fantastic news and we’re delighted to welcome the Federation of International Touch, the England Touch Association and Touch World Cupbringing players from across the globe to the local area.
“It’s a great opportunity to support an inclusive and accessible sport which is growing in the Borough. Our newly refurbished £1.2m facility Gresham Sports Park is home to Nottingham Touch Club, the second largest English Touch club and the club hosts weekly training sessions and competitions for players of all ages and abilities.
“We’re passionate about supporting local sporting talent and many of these athletes are recipients of our Rushcliffe Elite Sports Grant and FANS scheme, promoting a healthy lifestyle and increasing participation.
“We’ll be cheering on the England teams which we hope will see some of our talented residents represent their country.”