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Football scores for cultural diversity at Ethkick West

27 September, Henderson (Auckland)

Football scores for cultural diversity at Ethkick West


Dayan, a young supporter for Kurdistan team - photo Edith Amituanai

The rain did not dampen teams’ spirit for the very first Ethkick West 7 a side football tournament, which was held in Starling Park, Ranui, on Saturday 17 September.

Papa Fred Holloway opened the day with a karakia. Human Rights Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy pointed out that New Zealand is the fifth most diverse country in the world – and West Auckland one of the most diverse places within Aotearoa. Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse emphasised how proud she is to be a West Aucklander, underlining how its multiple cultures and ethnicities enrich us all.

A total of 20 men’s and 5 women’s teams, all from different West Auckland ethnic or cultural communities played their round robins all morning. At lunch time the Caribbean Steel Drum band created some much appreciated virtual sunshine on this otherwise overcast day. In the afternoon, both finals were won 1-0 with Afghanistan winning from Nepal in the men’s and Tuvalu from New Zealand in the women’s.

It does not matter in the world, whether you are playing football on a dirt field with tin cans for goals or in a beautiful stadium with hundreds watching you, it is all about the game and the community participation. Football is one language that almost everyone speaks, and teams definitely shared their common passion on the day. In fact they shared a bit more when asked – when vagaries of rostering and requirements to attend unplanned events left the NZ police team a few players short, they had no trouble “borrowing” some temporarily from several other teams.

Women’s teams consisted of the WISE collective team, Tuvalu, New Zealand, English and Burmese (Karen); The men’s 4 Pools included teams representing Rwanda, Fiji Indian, Myanmar Zo, Afghanistan, Iran/Persia, Congolese, Kurdistan, Burundi, Young Tuvalu, India, Nepal, Shri Ram Mandir Youth Group, NZ Police, USA, Chile, Somaliland Youth Group, Myanmar, Sri Lankan Tamil, Tuvalu, and Ethiopia;

Ethkick West Tournament was organised by Community Waitakere partnered and/or supported by: the Northern Football Federation, NZ Police, Auckland Council, the Human Rights Commission, The Trusts Community Foundation, Ranui Swanson Football Club, West Auckland Local Boards, the Waitakere Ethnic Board, Sports Waitakere, and the Waitakere Indian Association.

In kind support on the day was also received from Ranui photographer Edith Tuanai and Waitakere City based Appleseed Recycling Trust Ltd.

Players and supporters are already looking forward to the likelihood that this may become a regular West Auckland event.


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