Sports

Otago (Panda), 10th October 1947. Back row: L Wong, J Chin, J Wong, D Ngankee, W Ngankee (Capt), F Kwock, Mr George (Referee).  Front row: S Chin, A Wong, H Chin, D Young, K Young.
 
Wellington (Eastern), Friday 10th October 1947.
 
9th October 1948 - competitors gather in Wellington for the first Chinese Sports Tournament.
 
Easter Sunday 12 April 2009 in Christchurch.  Basketball has been the dominant sport for 20 years or more.  Sadly, 11 a side soccer has not been part of the tournament for perhaps a decade.
 
  1. Annual NZ Chinese Association Sports Tournament
  2. South Island Miniball and Basketball Tournament
  3. Local Basketball Competition
  4. Other Tournaments
By Gordon Wong
 
OSCA members participate in two annual sports tournaments, the New Zealand Chinese Association Annual Sports Tournament (AKA Easter Tournament) in Easter and the South Island Chinese Miniball and Basketball Tournament held in September.
 
The original event was held on “double tens” – 10 October, the national day of Nationalist China.  It all began in Dunedin in 1947, when a group of Otago University students from the lower North Island arranged a soccer match with friends from Wellington.  The Otago students, lead by the Ngan Kee brothers, Willie and Doug, put together a team of students and talented local chinese boys and played the team from Wellington on 10th October 1947 at Tahuna Park in Dunedin, as part the Double Tens celebration.  The soccer match was the catalyst for meetings held in Dunedin to discuss the possibility of running a chinese sports tournament.
 
In the following year, teams from a number of centres in New Zealand congregated in Wellington on 9th, 10th and 11th October to compete in a tournament of many sports including soccer, table tennis, netball and basketball.  In 1947, the soccer team from Dunedin calling themselves Panda, drew 2-2 with the team from Wellington, Eastern.  In 1948, these teams formed the nucleus of the Otago and Wellington teams that met in the final, which was won 4-2 by Otago.

Ironically, the Otago team then took on the name “Eastern” to play in the Dunedin 2nd Grade beginning with an 8-1 win over Caversham.
 
The tournament has subsequently become an annual event and in the latter part of the 20th Century moved to Easter.  The tournament is now informally known as the "Easter Tournament" with members of the New Zealand Chinese Association gathering to compete in many different sports.  Each major centre hosts the event once in a four year cycle – Dunedin, Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Dunedin etc.

Sadly, 11 a side soccer is now not a part of the tournament.  The game has been replaced by the 5 a side indoor version.  Tournament participants now tend to play a number of sports and 11 a side soccer teams have become too difficult to organise.
 
The South Island tournament began as a tournament organised by a bunch of university students in the 1980s and largely contested between basketball teams that were in the under 21 category (at that time there were only Over 21 and Under 21 teams).  It was born out of friendly rivalry between "cousins" in Christchurch and Dunedin. At that time, students at Otago tended to play for their hometown team which meant there were relatively strong teams coming from South Canterbury, North Otago, Southland and of course Otago and Canterbury.  The original intention was to hold the tournament at a different region each year.
 
The tournament was originally held in August, when there were three University terms.
 
By Janice Sew Hoy
This tournament was started in 1997 when some families in Dunedin and Christchurch decided on some friendly rivalry for their miniball aged children. The Tournament was first played in Dunedin.

Initially it was played at Labour weekend and involved only primary and intermediate aged children (Tiniball, Miniball and Intermediate Miniball). In later years it was moved to the first weekend of the September school holidays and games were played on Saturdays and Sundays.

As these children progressed to High School, High School Boys’ grades and High School Girls’ grades were added to the competition.

The winning teams initially won small prizes or team prizes. An overall trophy was contested; the winner being the South Island branch which won the most grades.
Usually all the teams and their families gathered for a meal organised by the host branch at a restaurant on the Saturday night. In recent years more social activities have been organised for the players on the Saturday evening.

With the growing popularity of the Tournament it was decided that standard rules needed to be written and also trophies/cups were introduced for the winning teams in each section.

In 2005 as the original children progressed into tertiary studies, the open section was made official. Now the tournament is contested in a full range of mminiball and basketball grades.

In 2008 the Wellington Dragons entered an Open Women’s team and an Open Men’s team as invitational teams.
This Tournament has become a great opportunity for South Island players and their families to meet other Chinese participants and to form new friendships. Players from other South Island branches who do not have enough players to form a complete team are incorporated into teams from Otago & Southland or Canterbury.

It has also given South Island players an opportunity to experience competition games at a Tournament other than the NZCA Easter Tournament and improve their level of playing without having to travel too far.
  
For more information contact oschinese@osca.org.nz