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THIS weekend’s CISX Channel Islands’ Championship will see teams from Guernsey and England compete.

This year sees a change in format and a single location for the touch tournament.

‘Historically, it has been a two day tournament which has been open to mixed, men’s and ladies teams but we found that it was a big ask for players to play in both mixed and single sex teams, and in some cases referee as well so we have decided that this year it will be a mixed tournament held over one day,’ said Guernsey Touch chair Katrina Bray.

‘We’re hoping that it will increase the level of competition as players will only have their mixed games to focus on and it will also allow them to enjoy a bit more of what Guernsey has to offer.’

The tournament also moves from the Garenne Stand across the road to the Memorial Field.

‘We have used the Garenne Stand and Memorial Field together in previous years, which has been ideal but with the Garenne Stand no longer available to us, we are basing the whole tournament at the Memorial Field. We want to thank Elizabeth College for allowing us to the use the facilities as the success of the tournament relies on having the pitches in one location,’ said Katrina.

The tournament is now in its sixth year and this will be the fifth year it has been sponsored by the Channel Islands Stock Exchange.

‘We are incredibly grateful to the Channel Islands Stock Exchange for their continued support which allows us to keep entry costs as low as possible. This year is an experiment with the change in format and our aim is to grow it further next year and attract more visiting teams.’

Following Saturday’s tournament, a beach touch festival has been organised at Vazon on Sunday. The annual event, which is sponsored by Canaccord, will feature teams from Guernsey and England. The day long tournament, which has the same rules as touch, will see mixed teams competing in a round robin competition.

‘We wanted to make it a great weekend of touch in two very different locations. The beach touch tournament was originally the idea of rugby development officer Geraint Cooper who has now sadly left the island. Guernsey Touch is going to continue with the tournament as it’s a fantastic way of combining a well-loved sport and one of the island’s best beaches and we want to thank Canaccord for their continuing support,’ said Katrina.