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Beach 5s footy fever hits Nobbys

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One of the most popular events on the Newcastle sporting calendar, the Beach 5s Australia Day weekend, will return to Nobbys Beach in 2024.

The fourth edition of the annual event, proudly supported by UGL and City of Newcastle (CN), will kick off on Friday 26 January with a jam-packed program of entertainment on the sand.

Beach 5s is a five-a-side competition based on modified rules from rugby league, union and touch but without line-outs, scrums or conversions.

All the action starts with two charity games between the All-Star Legends and All-Nations Legends, featuring Newcastle Knights great Kurt Gidley and local icon Sione Finefeuiaki.

Other matches and entertainment will continue until Sunday 28 January.

In fact, more than 35 teams, from under-13 boys and girls’ juniors to open men’s and women’s seniors, have registered to participate.

“Beach 5s Australia and New Zealand is a fun and exciting summer activity that everyone can play at some of the best venues here and overseas,” event director Peter Hickey said.

“It brings together our love of the beach and sport in a new game open to all.

“In the past, we have witnessed footy legends from both codes, like Johnathan Thurston, Phil Waugh, Kurt Gidley and Lote Tuqiri, embrace Beach 5s.

“So, we are looking forward to seeing more and more people playing this summer season.”

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes welcomed the opportunity to stage the Beach 5s festival at the city’s iconic Nobbys Beach once again.

“It’s wonderful to be hosting the fourth annual event here,” she said.

“City of Newcastle has been supportive of the festival since day one, celebrating its family-friendly atmosphere and its fast-paced format, which attracts teams from across the region and beyond to be cheered on by their families, friends and the local community.

“Nobbys Beach offers an idyllic vantage point for spectators to soak up all the excitement of the long weekend tournament.”

UGL executive general manager transport Ian Quarrie also expressed his excitement.

“In 2024, we’re celebrating 125 years of history… and where better to kick of the celebrations than here in Newcastle where the first Goninan operations were started in 1899,” he added.

“UGL loves being an important part of the Newcastle community and we’re thrilled to support the Beach 5s at Nobbys Beach.”

Beach 5s three-day weekend program

Australia Day – Friday 26 January (1.45pm – 6.30pm)

  • UGL Beach 5s All-Star Legends and entertainment
  • 1.45pm: U/15 Boys Beach 5s Youth Exhibition
  • 3pm: Wanggliyn Barray-ga Dancers
  • 3.45pm: Mac Scullion (Golden Guitar) Aussie Culture Songs
  • 4pm: Official Welcome City of Newcastle – Councillor Winney-Baartz
  • 4.15pm: Wanggliyn Barray-ga Dancers
  • 4.40pm: Game 1 UGL Beach 5s All Star Legends – Aussie Dingoes (Kurt Gidley captain) v All Nations Legends (Sione Finefeuiaki captain)
  • 5pm: Mac Scullion (Golden Guitar) Aussie Culture Songs
  • 5.10pm: Wanggliyn Barray-ga Dancers
  • 5.20pm: Game 2 UGL Beach 5s All Star Legends – Newcastle Knights Legends (Kurt Gidley captain) v All Nations Legends (Sione Finefeuiaki captain)
  • 5.50pm: Mac Scullion (Golden Guitar) Aussie Culture Songs
  • 6.30pm: Close

Saturday 27 January (11am – 5pm)

  • OSMAC Newcastle Beach 5s Open Men and Women Championship 2024

Sunday 28 January (9am – 2pm)

  • OSMAC Newcastle Beach 5s Youth and Schools Championship (Boys & Girls)
  • U13 Boys
  • U13/U14 Girls
  • U14 Boys
  • U15 Boys
  • U15/U16 Girls, U16 Boys

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