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The sporting spirit of different communities and cultures should prove a winner when they meet for a football challenge and entertainment weekend next month.
ETHKICK 09 is a weekend tournament being staged on March 28 and 29 at Skoglund Park in Thames Street - the first event of its kind in Palmerston North.
The goal is to promote friendship throughout the city's diverse communities providing a fantastic weekend for families to experience sport and culture through great football, entertainment and food.
40 teams will compete on social and competitive grades vying for a place in the national tournament. These teams include the ex-pat Brits, the Welsh, the Saudis and the Congolese.
Hato Paora College will be opening the entertainment after speeches by Police Area Commander Inspector Pat Handcock, Labour MP Ian Lees-Galloway and Race Relations Conciliator Joris De Brez. The event opens at 9.30am on the Saturday with the first match kicking off at 10.30am.
There will be a number of different cultural displays to enjoy including Bollywood dancing and a Kung Fu display.
Police officers from the Palmerston North Dog Section along with their dogs will be demonstrating their skills on finals day just prior to the Police v Fire exhibition game which is sure to be a crowd pleaser. The trophies and medals which have been proudly sponsored by the police will be presented at the end of the day by Senior Sergeant Brett Calkin.
Ethnic Liaison Officer and organiser, Constable Darren Paki said: "From a police perspective, we want to promote and enhance our services to the ethnic community and instil interest in a police career.
"Population trends from the latest census confirm that as an organisation we need to diversify our workforce if we are to provide a professional service to ethnic communities. We also want to build a positive face-to-face partnership whereby ethnic communities feel comfortable in speaking with police officers."
ETHKICK 09 is closely linked with Palmerston North's annual Festival of Cultures, with ETHKICK 09 culminating a week of cultural activities such as the Festival Day, Cafe Culture, a concert by Moana and the Tribe, exhibitions and education at Te Manawa and a very funny play called Once Were Samoans. All of these great activities will be running throughout the week giving Palmerston North a taste of great music, culture and food.
ETHKICK 09 is fully supported by the New Zealand Police, Department of Internal Affairs, More FM, Palmerston North City Council, MIZONE, The Eastern and Central Community Trust, The Lotteries Commission, Central Football and Sport Manawatu.
Media enquiries should be referred to Constable Darren Paki on 027237500 or Darren-Leigh.Paki@police.govt.nz