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Football and food: WISE Women ready to roll at Ethkick

13 September, Henderson (Auckland)

Football and food: WISE Women ready to roll at Ethkick

Photo: Members of the WISE collective are looking forwards to competing in Ranui this Staurday in the Ethkick West 7 a side Football Tournament: Bu Mar (player), Soe Meh (food stall), Lu Myar (player) and Sasikala (player) (Photo: Community Waitakere)

The WISE collective has been very industrious leading up to Saturday 17 September: while always busy running several projects to support women from refugee backgrounds, It had to add weekly football training for this Saturday’s Ethkick West football Tournament in Ranui. There will also be a WISE food stall on the day, selling fresh Burmese and Eritrean ethnic cuisine.

The Ethkick West tournament itself is held this Saturday 17 September in Starling Park, Ranui, from 8 am till 5 pm. This smoke-free and alcohol-free event is aimed at the whole family, and there are no entry charges. A total of 20 men’s and 5 women’s teams will be competing in this 7 a side football tournament, and hopefully they will all bring lots of supporters with music and passion. There will also be live music, food and info stalls, a kiddy play area, and a ‘Go for goal’ competition with spot prizes. The day is aimed to be a celebration of West Auckland cultural diversity. .

Lu Myar explains why they wanted to be part of this: “where we grew up, in Burma, both boys and girls play football but grown women don’t have the opportunity to do so. So playing, and training is quite a new thing to us, but we really enjoy it and hope to continue after the tournament. It is very good to try something new, and it fits very well with the aim of our collective, which is to give former refugee women confidence to take on new things in life”. WISE stands for: Women – Inspired – Strong – Empowered and Enterprising; “It would be wonderful to win the trophy” Myar added.

The WISE collective, among other, runs a catering service at the New Lynn Evening Markets during the summer, offering a variety of authentic dishes from around the world; all food is freshly prepared.

A total of 25 West Auckland football teams have been preparing to take the field on Saturday. Women’s teams will be the WISE team, Tuvalu, New Zealand, English, Burmese; Men’s teams will be: Rwanda, Fiji Indian, Myanmar Zo, Afghanistan, Iran/Persia, Congolese, Kurdistan, Burundi, NZ Samoa, India, Nepal, Shri Ram Mandir Youth Group, NZ Police, USA, Chile, Somaliland Youth Group, Myanmar, Sri Lankan Tamil, Tuvalu, Ethiopia;

Ethkick West Tournament is brought to you by Community Waitakere partnered and/or supported by: Auckland Council, the Northern Football Federation, NZ Police, The Trusts Community Foundation, Ranui Swanson Football Club, West Auckland Local Boards, the Waitakere Ethnic Board, Sports Waitakere and the Human Rights Commission. www.communitywaitakere.org.nz

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