Ten-year-olds have a ball
by Mike Isle
Selwyn United Football Club’s first-ever 10th Grade football festival event has been pronounced a success after the event attracted 400 players, 39 teams and dozens of support volunteers last weekend.
Club President, Darren Sudlow, said the three-day tournament, which is restricted to players 10 years old this year, drew teams from throughout the South Island, including from the tournament’s previous host region, Nelson.
Mr Sudlow said the goal of the tournament was to give young players the taste of what it feels like to play in a tournament, without putting the focus on competitiveness.
“For girls and boys of that age, it is more around giving them an opportunity for fun and experience, rather than winning being the end motivation.”
Over the course of the event, the 39 teams took part in a total of 121 games at the Selwyn’s main football venue Rolleston’s Foster Park.
The tournament was divided into three sections, including a girls’ section, and teams competed in round-robins, pool play and finals. The final was won by a Christchurch United team.
“Because of the large number of games, many of the club’s more senior junior-grade players were roped in as volunteers to referee some of the games, which was good experience for them,” Mr Sudlow said. Mr Sudlow believes the success of the tournament was due largely to the enthusiasm of the players and the support of the volunteers, and would likely be repeated. He said the club was also grateful for the support it received from the Selwyn District Council.