top of page


Cary Thompson first became involved with Touch in the early 1970’s when he founded both the ATO and NSW Public Service Touch Organisation, who played their competition on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at the Kippax Lake area of Moore Park, Sydney. They were the first “after work” competitions as opposed to weekend competitions played by all other districts. The same year (1972) he joined the Manly Warringah Touch Football Association which had a partly organised regular competition played at District and Keirle Parks on Sunday mornings.

It was from then that he began his career as an administrator after being critical of the lack of organisation of Rules, Referees and Policies which should govern the conduct of the competition. In 1976 he was invited to join other District representatives at the NSW Touch 

In 1975 the Public Service Team played their first representative game in the Vawdon Cup and two years later Cary founded the Annual ATO One Day KO Tournament which is still played today. In honour of his contribution to ATO Touch the Club Shield is named the Cary Thompson Shield (click on image to enlarge).

Later that year he took an ATO and Public Service team to the inaugural NSW State Cup in Port Macquarie. Manly Warringah also sent representative teams and their strength was highlighted when the Mens Open team made the final only going down to Cronulla in a close fought contest.

Cary Thompson SHield

In 1978 he became Patron of the North Shore Business Houses competition who played at Artarmon Oval. He and a group of referees from the Manly district assisted with the officiating of games in that competition. It was during that time he formed the North Shore Business House Touch Referees Association.

It was in the same year he was made Chairman of the NSW Rules Committee, a position he later held at the national and international levels for thirty more years. It was during the period of the late seventies up to the mid-late eighties that he held twenty plus honorary positions with ten different Touch organisations from park to international level. It was during this time and the next decade he became well known as a Coach Educator and Policy Writer having many publications, articles and papers presented at seminars and universities across Australia. He performed the same services internationally and to date many of the philosophies behind his policies are still applicable and remain in place today. His CV demonstrates this.

From the early days Cary has risen through the ranks to become the President of the world governing body of Touch, the Federation of International Touch (FIT) - a position he held from 1991 to 2007. He then acted as Secretary General of the Federation for the next two years to assist in the transition period. During the eighties he became the Director of Coaching for Touch Football Australia, a position he held until 2001. In 2000 he became a Vice President of Touch Football Australia and after a restructure in 2002, one of their Board Members.

His contribution within Touch in Australia and internationally has seen him awarded with Ten Life Memberships of Touch and /or Touch Referee Associations (click on image to enlarge). He also received a Life Membership for his charity work with the Westmead Children's Hospital.

In addition to Life Membership he has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sport and the Eunice Gill Coach Education Award from the Australian Sports Commission. He has received many other awards for his outstanding contribution to the sport. He made the short list (of three) for the Sports Australia Sports Awards, “Volunteer of the Year” in 2007.


In 2010 at the 30 year celebration of the National Championships, Cary had the honour of naming the top male and female players as well as the male and female coach and referees

of the past 30 years. In 2019 he chaired the panel which came up with the top Male, Female and Mixed players of the first 50 years of Touch

Cary was instrumental (with others) in devising the rules for the inaugural World Cup in 1988 which allowed forward passes. He has written the rules that are currently played at an International Level as well as Referee Interpretation to the rules. His dedication to a “hobby” many years ago has seen him become the official Historian for both Touch Football Australia and the Federation of International Touch.

He created the European Championships in 1996 and when interviewed by Sky B at the time stating, “they will become the largest regional Touch event in the world within 20 years”. He was right. He helped create the South Pacific Championships and continued to establish a forum for Island teams to compete internationally on a regular basis.

At the inaugural World Cup on the Gold Coast of Queensland in 1988, Cary coached the United States Mens 35's team. Their only loss was to the eventual winners, Australia. In 1991 he went on a Development Tour of Japan preparing their National teams for their first foray into international competition, the second Word Cup held in Auckland, New Zealand.

During the World Cup Cary acted as Coach Advisor to the Japan Mens Open and Over 35's teams. In 1996 Cary with a small group of Australian Coaches and players toured the Cape Province of South Africa providing the school children and adult players with coaching, training, and education of the sport. Cary refereed at the Annual New Year's Eve Cape Touch Tournament.

Later that year he conducted the inaugural European Championships in Halifax, England and presented several coaching sessions with local Touch players. Then in 1999 and 2000 at the invitation of Bryan O’Connor he conducted several coaching and referee seminars in Singapore.

In 2015 at the World Cup in Coffs Harbour NSW, Cary was awarded Life Membership of the Federation of International Touch. This moment was captured by journalist Ben Harris.


After retiring from active administration within the sport Cary dedicated his free time to updating the statistics and history of both Touch Football Australia and the Federation of International Touch.


It was in 2006 his history of TFA was published as "Thompson Touch Almanac 1980-2005" and contained in this web site is the current version of that publication.

In 2019 he was asked by the Federation of International Touch to contribute to the International Honours and Awards Policy for the Organisation. Cary and Peter Topp wrote the policy the Federation has now adopted and in 2021 he was appointed as Chairman of the FIT Honours Committee. In 2022 the NSW Touch Association named Cary as the Golden Jubilee Selector in the Mens Open Division.

It is noted that all these statistics are manually maintained. Cary does not have a data base of players and all results, tries, and representative caps are manually collated. The attached statistics and records on this site are a result of more than 45 years of perseverance, commitment, dedication and effort, and the sport thanks Cary for this.

 Football monthly committee meetings to assist in the development of the direction and governance of the sport.

bottom of page