News & Events

Multicultural groups gather for tenth Ethkick football tournament

Friday February 22 2019

Kick off a day of fun with your friends and whānau this Saturday as Ethkick turns 10.

Photo shows Karen football team with their national flag, championship cup and gold medals.

Three-time champs Karen loves Karen are the team to beat.

Once again, various cultures and ethnicities in Palmy will bond through sports at the Ethkick tournament. This year it's on Saturday 23 February, at the Central Energy Trust Arena.

Back for its tenth year, Ethkick is a free six-a-side football tournament that brings together the many diverse communities in our city.

One of Ethkick's organisers, Mike Sahayam, says the day is about promoting intercultural friendship and community bonding. “We’re bringing different communities together through football. It’s a universal language. Ethkick is a day-out. We want everyone to be mixing and mingling with other people from various ethnicities.”

And that’s what’s exactly going to happen as 40 ethnic and local teams compete for the cup.

One of those teams is Karen loves Karen, representing the Karen community of Myanmar. They've been champs of the tournament since joining three years ago.

Team captain Chit Moe moved to Palmy seven years ago. Aside from Ethkick, he also enjoys the overall welcoming and easy vibe of the city. “Palmy is quiet, there’s not much traffic, and there are lots of good people.”

He says their team is definitely looking forward to playing again in Ethkick. “It’s a good way to bring the community together, young and old. And it’s good for exercise, too.”

The tournament starts at 8am. Junior Ethkick will run alongside the main event, from 12pm to 3pm. It's free to participate for ages six to 13 years.

The day will also be filled with giveaways, food, fun activities, and much more. Come along and cheer for your favourite teams.

Palmerston North City Council supports this event through our Welcoming Communities programme. For more details, visit the Sport Manawatū website.