Dubbo's biggest sporting event of the year is only weeks away and homegrown teams are ramping up their preparation ahead of the NSW Touch Junior State Cup Northern Conference.
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The three-day competition is set to kick off on February 24 at Lady Cutler Fields and should see approximately 10,000 visitors converge on Dubbo.
The tournament was announced last year with Dubbo Touch Association president Neil Webster confessing the local teams have been hard at work preparing, even travelling this weekend to get in more matches before the event.
"All our teams are training hard and are actually heading to Nelson Bay this weekend," he said.
"It's a Hunter-Western junior Pete Wilson Championships which is our regional junior carnival where all the clubs in our region get together to play each other in all age groups.
"That's a great lead into junior state cup because it gives them matches to play against quality opposition."
Dubbo is no stranger to hosting large-scale touch football tournaments with the National Indigenous Knockout being played last year while in the past state-level events have been held in the past.
Webster believes the Dubbo-based teams will be making the most of their home conditions, having in the past needed to travel several hundred kilometres to play at the Junior State Cup.
"They are training a couple of times a week and are all looking forward to playing on their home ground as well which is really exciting," he said.
"It's February now so three weeks and it's on."
A draw for the competition will be revealed closer to the carnival beginning.
Accommodation providers around Dubbo and other smaller towns are expected to feel the effects of the carnival.
Dubbo mayor Mathew Dickerson believes the event will be a huge success with players, managers, coaches and spectators coming from all across the northern part of NSW.
"I'd have one of those every year rather than an NRL match, there are 10,000 visitors across four days in Dubbo," he said.
"We've only got about 5,000 beds in Dubbo so Narromine, Wellington and other places will benefit from that."
Dubbo Regional Council has also put out several special offers for visitors to take advantage of over the three days.
Offers include discounted entry to Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Royal Flying Doctors Service Visitor Experience and Old Dubbo Gaol.
The Junior State Cup is one of several big carnivals in Dubbo during the start of 2023 after swimming, cricket and athletics have all hosted events so far this year.
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