Tenzing Hillary Cup celebrates community spirit through Football

National MP David Bennett officially kicks off the tournament along with Arjun Mahajan and Dr Poudyal and spectators (Photo supplied)

Praneeta Mahajan

Hamilton, February 17, 2023

The Tenzing Hillary Football Cup, celebrating the spirit of sportsmanship, was held in Hamilton on February 4 and 5, 2023.

As an initiative, it has constantly provided the Nepalese communities in New Zealand to connect, come together and indulge in the community spirit.

It also promotes talent among the youth.

Details of the event

One of the biggest football tournaments among Nepali youth in New Zealand, the Tenzing Hillary Cup has a significant meaning and respect for the heroes of Nepal and New Zealand.

‘Tenzing Hillary’ refers to Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, who were the first people to conquer Mount Everest.

THC 2023 Waikato was organised in Hamilton by THC Committee in collaboration with the two Nepalese local organisations, Gorkhali Football Club and Nepal New Zealand Waikato Friendship Society during the Waitangi weekend.

There has been growing interest among Nepalese football teams to participate in THC since it started in 2015 by the Nepalese Association of Bay of Plenty.

This year, the two-day tournament saw an impressive line-up of nine teams across five regions with multiple matches on each day.

But the spirit for the sport was evident among the playing teams, the organisers and the crowds that turned up to cheer for the event.

Highlights of the event

Tenzing Hillary Cup this year saw impressive support from the community at large. Many local businesses and individuals supported the event and made it possible.

The opening ceremony started with welcoming VIPs including New Zealand Football President Dr Johanna Wood, National List MP David Bennett, Hamilton City Ethnic Development Officer  Jovi Abellanosa and Arjun Mahajan from a leading real Estate company in Hamilton.

This was followed by the National Anthem of Nepal and New Zealand after which, Mr Bennett initiated an action-packed tournament.

High-energy performances by all teams and the enthusiasm with which the teams played were highly appreciated by football enthusiasts, who came equipped with picnic mats, hats, food and some fun music.

The Organisers

Academic Dr Chandra Sharma Poudyal, President of the Gorkhali Football Club and Coordinator of Tenzing Hillary Cup 2023 said, “It was always our dream to bring THC to the Waikato regions and THC 2023 was our dream come true. There was huge participation of teams from different regions of New Zealand with their supporters from all over the country. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone including team members, supporters/spectators, volunteers, and everyone directly or indirectly involved in THC 2023 without whom it would have never been possible.”

Mr Mahajan said, “It is a great success for the Nepalese community in Hamilton to organise an event of this calibre. The talent, the community spirit, the cheers from the crowds and the love for Football were all incredible and I am so proud to be a part of it.”

THC Cup 2023 brought the community together through a love for sports (INL Photo by Praneeta Mahajan)

The Winners

This year, the cup was received amid loud cheers by the Nepal United Football Club from Christchurch,  who claimed their first title after defeating defending champions in the final by 4-3 on extra time.

Subhash Rai, Captain of Nepal United Football Club said, “This club was established in 2004 to make a social platform for Nepalese people and for players to play the game they love. As the year went by, we also started to get better as a team and this year’s victory is historic for Nepal United because we won our first-ever Tenzing Hilary Cup.”

He said, “As a Nepal United Football Club Captain, I feel very happy about what we have achieved this year. This team has worked and tried to win this tournament for six years and finally, we got our hands on the trophy. I have captained this team for six years. Many players came and went because of numerous reasons but we stood by with one purpose. To win the THC cup. I, all the players, and the management team have worked a lot and now, we are the champions of THC 2023, and I am very happy about what we have achieved this year.”

Other winners that were recognised at the prize giving were the THC 2023 Runner Up Lhotshampa Football club, who also flew in from Christchurch. The Best player was awarded to Niraj Basnet from Nepal United Football Club who also got the Golden boot for being the highest scorer in the tournament with 12 goals and the ‘Best Goalkeeper (Golden Gloves Award)’ was given to Anukaran Poudyal from Gorkhali Football Club, Waikato.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.

Share this story

Related Stories

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement