Tauranga City United's annual Labour Weekend football tournament at Links Ave is not only an opportunity to watch great football – it's a chance to donate to a good cause too.
The tournament, which has been running for 18 years, attracts senior teams from around the North Island.
Shane Boyle, a former Tauranga City United player now based in Melbourne, is flying back for the tournament on his own home ground.
“I grew up on the side of the pitch basically. My dad, Ron Boyle, and my uncle played with Tauranga City United. I had the privilege of making the first team when I was 16. I scored the first ever goal at Links Ave, almost 20 years ago. It brings back a lot of memories.”
The relaxed vibes of the tournament make it popular with teams from from across the North Island, either standalones or affiliated with a club. Many teams use it as an end-of-season competition before Christmas, with games of much shorter halves – around 10 minutes each way – to allow teams to play several games in a day.
Shane is also the founder of Football Music Culture, a social enterprise that aims bring about positive change in the world by combining football and music.
“I'm an event producer by trade, so decided I wanted to use my skills to not only do cool stuff with sound, but also something charitable,” says Shane.
He's encouraging people to bring football gear down to Links Ave over the weekend to donate to those in need.
“A friend of mine works in Uganda at a school orphaned for kids by HIV, and we're taking 20 kits donated by Otumoetai Football Club over there next year.
“My ultimate goal is build a network of a million passionate followers, so we can work with groups like Global Citizen, who lobby governments and organisations into making positive social change. I'd like to do the same with FIFA, so they can start taking action on global issues.”
The tournament runs all day today. For more information, visit the Football Music Culture Facebook page.