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Tuesday 28 August, 2018
of football and futsal as a tool for social development is well known. New
Zealand Football is looking to harness this positively throughout the country’s
diverse range of communities by introducing a new all-inclusive, fun futsal
tournament and festival.
Football has joined forces with the Ashburton District Council’s Welcoming
Communities Coordinator, Immigration New Zealand (INZ), and Mainland Football
to deliver the futsal tournament and festival in October, to foster connections
between established locals and new arrivals in the area.
meaning indoor football, is FIFA’s official five-a side indoor football
(soccer) game and anyone can give it a go.
is part of INZ’s wider Welcoming Communities initiative, being piloted across
the Ashburton District. It recognises that communities are healthier, happier,
and more productive when newcomers are welcomed and able to participate fully
in society and in the local economy.
district has embraced Welcoming Communities and this event embodies what
Welcoming Communities is all about,” says Ashburton Mayor, Donna Favel.
exciting collaboration and fantastic opportunity for our communities to embrace
diversity and think about other ways we can work together to create an even
more welcoming and inclusive environment and reap the benefits which newcomers
and migrants offer,” she adds.
of its kind, ‘Ashburton District Welcoming Communities Futsal Extravaganza’
kicks off on Saturday 13 October with a ‘Give-it-a-Go’ drop-in night from 5pm
to 7pm, where youth and adults can learn about futsal and enjoy informal skills
and games sessions. Some of New Zealand’s most talented futsal players and
coaches will be present to lend a hand.
October is a busy day with a junior skills clinic taking place from 9am to 10am
before a junior team tournament runs from 10.30am to 12pm. A youth tournament
then swings into action from 1pm to 3pm, before an adult tournament starts at
3pm and runs through to 4.30pm.
celebrities will also take part in a match with some of the region’s and the
country’s best players from 4.30pm.
of the Ashburton District community are welcome to take part, either as
participants, volunteers, business sponsors,
or observers enjoying the event. The focus will be on having fun while playing
the fast-paced, enjoyable game of futsal, while building relationships between
all involved to help recent migrants, former refugees, international students,
and other newcomers to the district feel welcome.
activities during the event are set to be held at the excellent EA Network
Centre in Ashburton. There is no cost to participate.
tournament is a pilot and key learnings will be used to inform future events
New Zealand Football is planning in other parts of the country. Discussions are
currently taking place with the Western Bay of Plenty District Council and
Tauranga City Council on similar soon-to-be-announced initiatives in those
“This is a
unique and fun way to introduce people to football or futsal, which ties in
with our key strategic goal of more New Zealanders playing and loving the
game,” says Dave Payne, Chief Operating Officer for New Zealand Football.
also demonstrates New Zealand Football’s commitment to fostering diversity and
inclusion – it takes the intent behind our new Diversity and Inclusion Plan and
brings it to life in communities whilst helping Immigration New Zealand and
Ashburton District Council reach their goals in the Welcoming Communities
initiative. A shared love of sport, and in particular futsal, provides a
perfect way to build bridges between local residents and newcomers to the
region. I know our football clubs across the country are very much looking
forward to the contribution newcomers will make to the growth and success of
our sport,” he adds.
to take part in the Ashburton District Welcoming Communities Futsal
Extravaganza are now open and you can sign up, either individually or as a
team. Registration for activities close on Sunday 30 September.
To register for the futsal tournament activities, visit http://www.nzfootball.co.nz/GET-INVOLVED/Welcoming-Communities-Futsal
play and no indoor football experience is necessary. You’ll need between six to
10 players per team and games will run for approximately 20 minutes.
Teams can be
of mixed gender and age, a mix of newcomers, locals and ethnicities, combined
business, family and friend teams, and they can dress up or even support a club
information on the Welcoming Communities initiative please visit the website at