City celebrates cultural diversity award
23 November 2006
Council and Office of Ethnic Affairs have won an award for the 200 Christchurch Ethnic Football Festival.
A local ethnic football festival has taken on the big league and won a major award for the Christchurch City Council and the Office of Ethnic Affairs.
The 2006 Christchurch Ethnic Football Festival received a highly commended award in this year’s New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) Outstanding Programme category.
Judges said "This simple concept received an injection of innovation through good management structures and partnerships to engage multiple ethnic groups and encourage participation in the beautiful game.’’
Council community recreation adviser Ken Howat says the award reflects the difference Christchurch is making in celebrating and supporting cultural diversity in the city through recreation and sport.
"Auckland is the gateway with the greatest number of immigrants and the most diversity in the country, yet here we are getting acknowledged for the work we are doing," says Mr Howat. "It is a great reward for the city.’’
The 2006 ethnic football festival included teams from 24 different nationalities and was watched by 4500 spectators. The aim of the festival is to raise the profile of the ethnic communities, to form supportive networks and establish a sustainable community identity.
"On-going initiatives with Council recreation advisers working with community groups and organisations such as the football festival and Culture Galore help ethnic communities to establish themselves and to be involved in the wider community. says Mr Howat. "This a great example of how recreation can strengthen communities
The award is also a great lead up to the NZRA/International Federation of Parks and Recreation Administration Conference to be held in Christchurch in 2008 where the theme is Making Connections, Making a Difference, he says.
Councillor Graham Condon says he is delighted by the award. "It shows our structure allows different groups to develop in recreation and sport and that people can get strength from their community.’’
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