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Christchurch¡¯s 2006 ethnic soccer tournament

17 January 2006

Christchurch¡¯s 2006 ethnic soccer tournament about to kick off

The third annual Christchurch Ethnic Soccer Festival will take place 27-29 January, with the grand final on 4 February. This has become a major annual event designed to fill this summer with passion, entertainment, colour and music.

All Christchurch is invited to attend all or part of this three-day celebration of sport, diversity, colour, food and fun. Stalls will display the delicious cuisine of ethnic groups so you won¡¯t go hungry. Entertainment for children is another new addition to the 2006 event.

For the first time there will be a curtain-raiser before the final game, in which a NZ Police team will play the Ethnic All Stars. The Police will put on a police dog show to demonstrate how these highly trained animals operate. Random prizes will be awarded to teams and spectators throughout the event.

Last year¡¯s winner was the New Zealand team from the New Brighton Soccer Club. They will be hard-pressed to retain their title this year, however, because Christchurch now boasts many excellent soccer teams from all corners of the globe. Twenty teams representing ethnic groups from Zimbabwe, Poland, Japan, Korea, China, Spain, Netherlands, Afghanistan, NZ, Fiji, Nepal, Scotland, Ireland, Somalia, Kurdistan and South America will battle it out. Each team is made up of new migrants, refugees and citizens in Christchurch who identify with their community.

The festival organisers would particularly like to welcome a new team representing refugees from Kurdistan. Most of the Kurdish team arrived in New Zealand only a few months ago as part of refugee settlement, and as members of the Kurdish community, have already found ways to participate in Kiwi life. Their welcome participation in this year¡¯s festival demonstrates the energy and enthusiasm they have brought to their new country.

Adopt a team come and support them and discover why this sport is known as the beautiful game.

The festival start with an opening ceremony at Caledonian Hall (135 Hereford St) on Friday 27 January at 7pm. The show will include music, dancing, drumming and a lighting show by Illuminati NZ. A mystery guest will open the tournament. After the show there will be a Blue Lights Disco (a NZ Police initiative to promote fun without alcohol) for all who wish to attend.

This much-loved annual event represents the tenacity of community spirit and has come to fruition as the result of the generous support and work of Christchurch City Council, the Office of Ethnic Affairs, NZ Police, Plains FM 96.9, Mainland Soccer and Avonhead Travel, and with help from many other organisations and private business.

Dates/venues

¡ñ Opening Ceremony and Blue Light Disco ¨C Friday 27 Jan Caledonian Hall 7.pm ¡ñ Preliminary Games 28-29 ¨C Jan at Bexley Reserve, Pages Rd, 9am-4pm ¡ñ Semi-finals and Grand Final game ¨C 4 February 10am-4pm

ENDS

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