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Refugee Youth claim Football Cup

The Refugee Youth Action Network (RYAN) team of Auckland took home the New Zealand Communities Football Cup at a tournament held in Wellington recently.

The team beat Bula Fiji of Hamilton in an exciting finish.

The two-day Tournament attracted 12 teams representing 14 ethnic communities from all over the country competing for the championship title.

New Zealand Police National Strategic Ethnic Advisor Inspector Rakesh Naidoo described the Tournament as a ‘fantastic tournament that builds up loyalty between all the cultures involved.’

“It was great to have had a final between a talented refugee team from Auckland and a mixed cultural team from Hamilton,” he said.

Wellington City Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, Polish Ambassador Beata Stoczynska and former Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres attended the closing ceremony.

White Ribbon

New Zealand Police strongly support the White Ribbon Campaign and hence was really positive to have had all 240 players and coaches join Judge Peter Boshier at the opening ceremony to take the White Ribbon pledge,” Inspector Naidoo said.

Wellington City Council, New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils, SportZone, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand Diversity Action Programme, New Zealand Football and Families Commission are among the supporters of the annual event.

Inspector Naidoo said that the New Zealand Police launched the Tournament in 2008 to connect diverse communities, celebrate success and encourage social change.

The Winners

Champion: RYAN (Auckland); Runner-Up: Bula Fiji (Hamilton); Plate: Poland (Christchurch); Plate Runner-Up: Oromo (Wellington); Bowl Winner: Cape Verde (Upper Hutt); Bowl Runner-Ups: Sunny Zimbabwe (Palmerston North); Team Fairplay Award: Sunny Zimbabwe; Player of the Tournament: Tom Sansom, Poland

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