FIT representative Peter Topp assisted with the delivery of the programs across three locations with the help of Queensland Touch Football (QTF) representatives Scott McAllister in Shanghai, Glen Walker in Guangzhou and TFA (Victoria) staff member, David Diack in Beijing. These programs according to Topp, focused on achieving the broad community development aspects of the program by providing participation clinics, field officer and referee training.â€œThe ASP Program was well received in all schools with many expressing interest in touring Australia as a development and cultural program for their students, which is promising for both regions,â€ Topp said on his return to Australia.The delivery of participation clinics was based around the successful Australian Sports Commission Sporting Schools program format whereby participants experienced the game in a fun, safe, friendly and supportive environment. All activities were game-based which provided opportunities for play and the development of game knowledge of the sport.This provided the perfect environment for young girls to experience a new sport in a safe environment to teach them the longer-term benefits of leading healthy and active lifestyles. Participants were provided information on the importance of nutrition and ensuring that they look after themselves to create a well-rounded individual.A major component of the ASP Program in China is to upskill the development workforce in the three targeted cities. This was addressed by the training and education of field officers in each of the locations. In total, 26 field officers were trained in current practice delivery of Touch Football; specifically, in a large group setting such as schools and universities. This provided a stable base to develop sport knowledge and competence whilst challenging existing skill levels.To assist further the development of Touch Football in China, the program also included referee training to maximise the delivery of the sport. A total of 64 referees participated through courses, coaching, practical and mentoring sessions. Further, a referee leadership program commenced in Beijing in 2016 and was completed within the 2017 education programs.TFAâ€™s Acting CEO, Tim Arnold believes the success of the program can be measured by the increase in female coaches and officials in the region.â€œThe program focused on ensuring that there were opportunities for females to become leaders in their community, not just in Touch Football. The referees and coaches we trained were provided with the skills and guidance needed to grow in confidence, to lead what is often a male dominated industry,â€ Arnold said.â€œWeâ€™ve created female role models for the community. Once the training was completed, the female coaches and referees went on to run the participation clinics and demonstrate to the young girls in the programs that they too can be leaders in sport and in broader society.â€The program has provided a platform for an economic development opportunity for women with the skilled coaches now able to earn an income through delivering programs in schools into the future.Several meeting engagements were also arranged for TFA and FIT personnel. These were opportunities to engage and promote the active support from the Australian Government.Through the ASP program, TFA have successfully assisted China to develop an educated and qualified workforce to assist with the continued development of Touch Football extending beyond the program. Overall, this has been achieved through the identification and training of female leaders to take on key roles within the Touch Football community in China as well as in their life away from the sport. The inclusion of these training programs combined with the participation clinics, has led to increased participation in Touch Football and physical activity opportunities for Chinese participants.TFA would like to thank the DFAT for making this program possible through the ASP program. This support from Government agencies allows the sport of Touch Football to improve the opportunities for female leaders in China. The program has enriched the lives of all participants through the benefits associated with living a healthy lifestyle and fun and social inclusion for participants in a team-based sport. And to the FIT, QTF and TFA crew on the ground, a valuable opportunity to profile and promote the virtues and aspirations of the sport to one of the most populous and prosperous regions of the world. Related LinksTouch in China Touch Football Australia (TFA) and the Federation of International Touch (FIT) have been conducting a series of Touch Football activities in various school visits across China over recent months. The visits are part of the Asian Sports Partnership (ASP) Program; funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in an effort to influence broader social and diplomatic outcomes. The key purpose of making a positive contribution to development and public diplomacy outcomes in Asia through effective sport partnerships.Through this program, TFA sought to use its prominent international status to work closely with FIT to improve the social standing of women in society by providing them with equal opportunities to access sport and lead healthy active lifestyles.The primary focus of the program is increasing the sporting opportunities awarded to females aged 12-20. The gender-parity nature of Touch Football ensured the program accommodated a neat split of both males and females totalling over 2,000 participants to date. The overall reach of the program was not only limited to the players; extended also to spectators, Government, school and sport officials and ultimately increasing opportunities to develop and deliver the sport of Touch Football in the community.