Indoor Soccer

By Gordon Wong

Friday 22 April, Action Indoor Sport Centre, Dunedin

Football (aka soccer, the beautiful game) was how it all began back in 1947 when a group of Otago University students from the lower North Island, put together a team with some Dunedin locals and travelled to Wellington to play a game against their mates at home on China’s National Day – Double Tens (10 October).  Amazingly, in the following year, Chinese from all over New Zealand congregated in Wellington for the first Chinese Sports Tournament again to celebrate China’s National Day.

Football is the World’s most popular sport, but a number of years ago, Easter tournament organisers realised that putting together football teams was just too difficult.  Consequently, the 11 a side outdoor version was replaced by the 5 a side indoor version.  The game at Easter is now played by mixed teams, with some excellent girl players who can run rings around anyone.

This year, all games were played on the evening of Good Friday 22nd April at Action Indoor Sports Centre. Auckland, Wellington and OSCA provided two teams each. It was very competitive, oh so close, but Wellington yet again came out the winners.  OSCA were desperately unlucky conceding a deflected goal in the semi final.

Incidentally, in 1947 the team from Dunedin calling themselves Panda, beat the team from Wellington (Eastern) and in the first tournament in 1948, Otago won the Soccer Cup by beating Wellington in the final and won many times in the 1950’s.  Alas, things have changed slightly since them.