Touch was introduced to Wales in 1990, initially in Cardiff and involving 24 male teams. The league quickly became popular with rugby union players looking to improve skill levels and retain fitness levels through the summer months.
The Wales Touch Association (WTA) was established in 1999 to promote the development of Touch in Wales and to enable Welsh players to represent their country at an international level at FIT sanctioned events.
Wales first competed internationally at the 1997 European Championships and on the World stage at the 1999 World Cup in Sydney, Australia where they entered teams in the Men's Open and Mixed Open categories. They have competed in every World Cup and European Championships since, culminating in their largest representation at the 2011 World Cup in Edinburgh, Scotland with 7 representative teams.
Wales have had success at an international level and are currently ranked No.1 in Europe having won both the Open and Senior titles at the 2010 European Championships in Bristol, England. Wales successfully hosted the 2002 European Touch Championships in Cardiff, involving teams from Europe and the finest teams from the Southern Hemisphere.
In 2006, the WTA was recognised as the Governing Organisation for Touch in Wales by the Wales Sports Association (WSA), the body which provides advisory, advocacy, consultative and training services to the National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of sport and physical recreation in Wales.
Domestically Touch in Wales has grown with the number of affiliated league modules and tournaments continuously expanding, both by participation and geographically. This extends from Touch’s traditional heartland in Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taff to Wrexham in the North, Llanelli and Pendine in the West. The Pendine beach tournament is unique in format and atmosphere and attracts teams from throughout the UK.
The WTA are currently working with the Welsh Rugby Union in delivering participation sports into primary schools, this will be expanded into secondary schools shortly and is likely to result in an explosion of new leagues, one-day tournaments and additional participants to the sport of Touch.
The WTA are currently working alongside the WSA and the Sports Council for Wales (SCW) as well as the Touch Associations of England, Scotland and Jersey to have Touch recognised as a sport in its own right, as is the case in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.