TEAMS from diverse communities across Tasmania converged at KGV Oval in March to compete in the multicultural soccer competition, the Hobart Friendship Cup.
The Hobart Friendship Cup was established by the Bhutanese Community Association of Southern Tasmanian (BCAST) in 2014 to bring people from different cultural communities together.
“It develops relationships and helps people socialise within the migrant communities,” event coordinator Khadga Thapa said.
Games were played over two days, with round robin games held on 30 March and finals the following day.
Mr Thapa said the event aimed to engage youths in productive activities, give them a space to showcase their talents and promote inclusion to eliminate feelings of isolation.
“We found there was a gap between the young generations and older family members where the adults were trying to stay in their own cultures while the younger people were leaning more towards the western culture,” he said.
“We thought that holding the Hobart Friendship Cup could bring everyone together to rediscover and foster their relationships.”
To further promote youth in the community and in the sport, an under 11 boys game was held between teams from Hobart and Launceston.
“We witness the youth from diverse communities celebrating this occasion as a sport festival with much amusement and jubilation,” Mr Thapa said.
With many of Hobart’s Bhutanese community residing in Glenorchy, Mr Thapa said the sport of soccer provided a common ground for everyone to come together.
“Everyone loves soccer in a community like our one, and we have that in other communities as well,” he said.
“African communities, Afghan communities, Sudanese communities – soccer is a valued activity, a way of social engagement and friendship.
“This highlights how a simple game of soccer can create friendship, break down barriers and bring about inclusion among us.”
The 2019 championship was sponsored by the Tasmanian State Government, Merit Services, Football Federation Tasmania, Hobart City Council, Commonwealth Bank and further individuals.
“We’re making this even bigger each year, and next year we’ll have more teams from other communities and hopefully get more funding and donors,” Mr Thapa said.
Caption: The 2019 Hobart Friendship Cup brought together multicultural communities from all over the state.