Culture Kicks to Celebrate the Beautiful Game Next Week

17 March 2009

Football fans! Block out your calendars for next weekend - Wellington's very-own international world cup is heading to Martin Luckie Park on Sunday 29 March.

Starting from 10.00am and running until 6.00pm, the day will be full of five-a-side games where local teams representing countries and regions from all over the world will demonstrate their skills in the beautiful game.

Wellington City Council event organiser Craig Ireson says the tournament has grown a great deal since it began three years ago.

"We had no idea that it would take off the way it has," says Craig. "We now have 40 teams and several more on a waiting list. It won't be long before we'll have to make the event a weekender!"

Some countries have several teams representing their nation or specific region. There are three teams from China for example; XXX; the Tang Dynasty and Super Senior. Ireland has a national team as well as a team representing The People's Republic of Cork. England - the home of the infamous Premier League - will have two teams in the competition. Assyria is represented by a men's and a women's team and Germany will be represented by Alemania and a Bavarian team.

"And we have the most teams from Aotearoa than ever before - a grand total of eight," says Craig. "Most of them seem to be made up of existing football teams such as Olympic and Wellington United but we'll also have teams representing Wellington Police and the Wellington Fire Service."

For the first time there is a women's-only competition and there are still a few places left for women's teams who want some pre-season competition.

"The day isn't just about football either. It's a celebration of all the different cultures that live in Wellington - whether they have just arrived in the last few years or are third-generation Italian. So come along and enjoy the football, food, music, and colours from nations around the world. There'll be children's entertainment too, so make sure to bring the little ones along," says Craig.

"This is the last event in the NZCT Summer City festival before we plunge headlong into autumn, so make sure you get the whole family out for one last blast of summer fun until next time!"