Newlands Mosque invitational football tournament
Police football team talked with their feet and played with their hearts just before Christmas last year when the Police team and members of the Newlands Mosque along with other local teams competed at Alex Moore Park in Johnsonville.
The games were some 'friendly fun' for football competitors to test the ‘best in the field’ talents of some keen amateurs.
Sherif Osman from Al Ameen
Mosque was keen to invite a Wellington District police side
to partake in the fun football day with a few other
Wellington teams, so he approached non-sworn member of
Police, Spencer Hiess from the 105 line in Kapiti to
organise a team.
Police won the round robin tournament against five other teams winning four out of their five games.
The other teams competing were, Victoria University, the Indonesian community, Habibis (community from Kilbirnie) a team from Hutt Valley – The Hutt Stars, and of course Al-Ameen, the Mosque community from Newlands.
“Police had players from throughout the district including Prevention, RNZPC, Comms, Intel, CIB, PST (front line) and Organised Crime.
A staff member and keen footy player even came over from Masterton to compete in the team,” says Spencer.
Spencer continues “Opening up dialogue when organising teams, to minimise potential cultural expectations and differences, enabled the Police to field a mixed team incorporating the only female player, non-sworn, Grace Carroll, in the tournament.
It was great to see all players compete and definitely hold their own,” says Spencer.
Grace says “Responding to the call for players for the Police team didn’t come with a second thought because it was about supporting and engaging one of our local communities, combined with a passion for football.
I was proud to wear the Police uniform on the pitch and get amongst it.”
Spencer continues “I think it’s great that we can all compete together for a bit fun, given that we all share a love of football. Football is great for positive social outcomes such as social inclusion, health and wellbeing of families and communities and a great ice-breaker for Police and the communities we serve.
“I think that this tournament, and others like it provide an opportunity to recruit from diverse communities. We would love some of these talented players to come join Police and consider policing as a career – that way they can at least come and be part of our Police Football team – it’s good to have ‘goals’,” he smiles.