But at first and last, it was a friendly confrontation
Wellington, January 17, 2020
The Wellington Police District won the round robin tournament against five other teams winning four out of their five games at the Newlands Mosque invitational Football tournament to win Al Ameen Cup.
The Police Football team talked with their feet and played with their hearts just before Christmas when the team and members of the Newlands Mosque along with other local teams competed at Alex Moore Park in Johnsonville in Wellington.
Best in the field
The games were some ‘friendly fun’ for Football competitors to test the ‘best in the field’ talents of some keen amateurs.
Sherif Osman from Al Ameen Mosque was keen to invite a Wellington District Police side to partake in the fun Football day with a few other Wellington teams, so he approached non-sworn member of Police, Spencer Hiess from the 105 line in Kapiti to organise a team.
The other teams competing were, Victoria University, the Indonesian community, Habibis (community from Kilbirnie) a team from Hutt Valley – The Hutt Stars, and Al Ameen, the Mosque community from Newlands.
“Police had players from throughout the district including Prevention, RNZPC, Comms, Intel, CIB, PST (front line) and Organised Crime. A staff member and keen footy player even came over from Masterton to compete in the team,” Spencer said.
“Opening up dialogue when organising teams, to minimise potential cultural expectations and differences enabled the Police to field a mixed team incorporating the only female player, non-sworn, Grace Carroll, in the tournament. It was great to see all players compete and definitely hold their own,” he added.
Grace Carroll said, “Responding to the call for players for the Police team didn’t come with a second thought because it was about supporting and engaging one of our local communities, combined with a passion for Football. I was proud to wear the Police uniform on the pitch and get amongst it.”
Spencer said, “I think it is great that we can all compete together for a bit fun, given that we all share a love of Football. Football is great for positive social outcomes such as social inclusion, health and wellbeing of families and communities and a great ice-breaker for Police and the communities we serve. This tournament and others like it provide an opportunity to recruit from diverse communities. We would love some of these talented players to come join Police and consider policing as a career; that way, they can at least come and be part of our Police Football team. It is good to have ‘goals’,” he said.