Storm has strengthened its partnership with Touch Football Victoria with Melbourne winger and local success story Young Tonumaipea coming on board as an ambassador.

Tonumaipea is a product of Victoria’s local development program having played 30 NRL games in the purple jersey since entering the NRL system in 2013.

He began his junior days playing with the Broadmeadows-based Northern Thunder before joining the Thunderbolts where he went on to be named U20’s Player of the Year.

The 24-year-old is living proof of how important grassroots rugby league is in providing pathways to the elite level.

Touch Football Australia plays a key role at junior level, highlighting the importance of participating in sport and the diverse and social/fun opportunities Touch Football has to offer.

Near 700,000 Australians played Touch Football last year, leading the sport well on track to its ultimate goal of one million players by 2020.

Tonumaipea is excited to help grow Touch Football by encouraging young Victorians to get involved.

“Playing rugby league with my mates was some of the best fun I had growing up,” Tonumaipea said.

“I think Touch Football is the perfect way for kids to get involved in the sport. It is fun and a great way to make new friends.”

“Parents in Victoria can bring their kids along to Touch Football clinics and events and hopefully those kids can keep developing in the sport so that one day we will have more Victorians wearing the purple jersey.”

Get involved in Touch Football today! Find out how

The growing partnership between Storm and Touch Football Victoria will see TFV hold a number of activations outside AAMI Park prior Melbourne Storm home games in 2017, giving Storm members and fans a chance to ‘come and try’ the sport.

A women’s touch game will also be played prior to the Club’s trial game in Hobart against the Bulldogs while a feature curtain raiser will be played at AAMI Park during the year.

Melbourne will also be hosting the Touch Football Australia Corporate Cup that will take place during the opening weeks of the 2017 NRL season.

Touch Football Australia CEO Colm Maguire says the beauty of the sport is that it does not discriminate and can be played by people from all different backgrounds and sizes.

“Touch Football is a very inclusive, diverse and social sport; catering for both genders, a wide variety of ages, abilities and communities with an extensive national footprint,” Maguire said.

“We are seeing strong evidence of increases in the junior competitions’ and events space with over 350 locations nation-wide and over 150 across the state alone busily delivering our great sport to a burgeoning touch football community.

“We actively encourage all juniors and seniors along with community groups and other sports, including Rugby League players coming out of Winter competitions young and old, to dust off their boots and participate in the many fun, social and inclusive Touch Football competitions, events and programs on offer over the 2016-17 Summer period.”

Visit PlayNRL.com and the Touch Football Australia website for information about registration and location competitions. Using the locator button, simply enter your postcode to find your closest touch football affiliate.