The history of Princes Park Touch

People have been playing informal non contact derivatives of rugby for almost as long as rugby has existed, but it took until the late 60’s for these to be formalised into a sport.

Organised touch however took a lot longer to reach the inner north of Melbourne and t was not until the year 2000 that a formal competition was former Melbourne university players Simon Davis and Ken Shaw. Assisted by many others including by a young man who would be instrumental in the sport Peter Shaw, who had just returned from playing rugby in England.

The first competition eponymously called Royal Park Touch was small, Summer only and based in Royal Park in the Brens precinct south of the zoo. Due to the great location and pavilion it had slow but steady growth and it was during this time that team that are still running around like Phantoms, Dunneworthy, Goodies, and Pretty Astrid started. Now the four longest running teams in the state.

However the good times were not to last. In 2007/08 council redeveloped the precinct and moved touch to a new venue, Princes Park. Princes Park at the time, however was not the beautiful park we know today. It no facilities and having been the car park for the nearbye football ground was rock hard and dusty.

Published by

Peter Shaw

Has been involved with Touch football since 2000 after return from playing semi professional rugby in England. He is the founder and president of Princes Park Touch.