I couldn’t imagine myself in a place where football did not exist. Coming from Brazil, the sport is engrained in my blood and has always been part of my life.
I have found that people in New Zealand also appreciate the game. Here at Unitec I have met a lot of people that really love football too. Both boys and girls from many different countries including India, Saudi Arabia, The Netherlands, Norway, Japan, China, Laos and Denmark.
Football is a universal sport that has the immense power of bringing people together, even if they do not speak the same language. At Unitec, I am given the opportunity to share the passion of playing football with those who also love the game by participating in the Football World Cup tournament – I was lucky enough to be part of the team that won last semester.
It was an amazing tournament. We had many teams representing different countries, bringing different cultures together. Our team had a great time! There were a bunch of us from New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, The Netherlands, Denmark, India and Brazil and although we were from different countries and spoke different languages, we played as one.
I noticed that when we are playing a game of football everything comes together very naturally. We have the chance to forget about our religious and political differences and enjoy a sport we all love – it’s quite magical really. Although at times we may not have had the best conditions to play in, we challenge any weather conditions and various obstacles that may stand in our way. The passion of playing always comes first.
In addition to playing in the Football World Cup, myself and other students had the opportunity to participate in two tournaments outside of campus – walking away as first place winners in one of them.
The support from Unitec has been overwhelming. Unitec clubs and sports supported us by providing shirts and giving us the opportunity to practice in the campus facilities. I am very, very thankful because as a student it has been great to see how much Unitec suppourts its students in outisde activities, encouraging a more active and healthy lifestyle. The Football World Cup is returning this semester so make sure you keep an eye on the Unitec Student Media Facebook group.