News & Events

Festival kicks off

Friday February 21 2020

Festival of Cultures kicks off – literally – with Ethkick at the Central Energy Trust Arena on Saturday 29 February.

Photo shows men playing football.

Ethkick brings together six-a-side football teams in friendly, but fierce, competition.

Forty teams have registered for the six-a-side football tournament, which runs from 8am to 5pm.

Palmerston North City Council Welcoming Communities Coordinator Stephanie Velvin says Ethkick has become very competitive over the 11 years it has been running. Many of the city’s ethnic communities are represented and “most of them are football mad”.

The event is co-hosted by Marist Football Club, Council, the Manawatū Multicultural Council and Sport Manawatū, with support from New Zealand Police, Ricoh New Zealand and Central Football.

Spectators can expect to see some tough on-pitch battles during the fun event. Entry to watch is free.

Running alongside Ethkick this year for the first time is EthSport for women and children. The have-a-go style event will run at the B&M Centre at Central Energy Trust Arena, from 9am to 3pm, with a range of sporting codes represented, including table tennis, para basketball, SNAG Golf, badminton, volleyball, futsal, netball, skateboarding (outdoors), and learn to ride a bike (outdoors).

There's no need to register for this opportunity to try something new in a safe, supportive and inclusive environment.

Multicultural Council president Rana Naser, whose been involved with Ethkick since its beginning, says the idea to run EthSport alongside it came after observing that some women are unable to participate in the football competition.

After talks with Sport Manawatū, Naser said EthSport was seen as an opportunity to draw multicultural women and children to engage in any kind of sport. "For wellbeing, for having fun … it’s not about competition, it’s about spending time with others and improving their mental health and wellbeing."

Naser has been continuously championing more ethnic women taking part in sport. “They can have a go and maybe they will like it and make friends. Some of these women haven’t tried taking part in sport.”

Kids activities will also be available at Ethkick, run by Youth Space’s Co-Lab group. Children can have their faces painted and take part in games. Co-Lab is made up of high schoolers who, through Youth Space, create events that uplift young people and create a sense of belonging and connection. Co-Lab members learn how to put ideas into action.