Friday, 3 April 2009

Culture Kicks Back

On a bright, breezy day last weekend, I thought I'd take my camera for an outing. It just so happened that the Culture Kicks Football Festival (described as Wellington's own mini world cup) was on in Martin Luckie Park, Berhampore.

It features five-a-side teams representing countries from all over the world. There is also a women's tournament. I'm pretty sure you don't have to prove nationality by grandmother's birth certificate or anything like that, just register your team in advance, and turn up to play to the referee's whistle.

The lads were there as St George's something in a collection of red shirts - England; Manchester United and Nottingham Forest (you won't see them on the same pitch very often!). They were big on enthusiasm and vocal ability with lots of pointing and shouting going on.

It was pretty entertaining as I got to support the lads and take a few pictures at the same time. I thought I'd try out my telephoto lens and the continuous shooting setting. Unfortunatley the lads didn't have one of those. I was after action shots, but there wasn't much of that either.

That's not entirely fair. There was plenty of huffing and puffing and even a few goals scored. Apparently (according to Him Outdoors) running around is a lot easier when you're 24 that when you're 42. And imagined-silky skills that you can see in your head appear more like clodhopping carthorses when executed on the field. I saw them play Afghanistan and Syria. I missed them play Greece, and they got beaten by Ireland. They know half of the Irish team - they're drinking buddies. Ireland went on to win the coveted egg-cup or whatever it is they play for when they're not in the cup competition.

Several of the opposition were pretty good on the acting front and were pulling out some Hollywood moves, but the ref wasn't fooled. I'm not sure he even saw half of them. To be honest, there were one or two fouls from our lads, such as this fabulous 'spot the ball' moment.

The opposing teams had a whole line of subs and supporters aplenty who banged drums and shouted encouragement. They even had crates of half-time oranges!

The WAGS arrived with picnic-blankets to rival the other team's support, by finding the food and the nearest coffee cart.

There was some face painting, dancing, stilt-walking and a bouncy castle for the kids - one of the lads on our team regretted that you couldn't go on it in football boots - it seems studs are not allowed on inflateable erections, which is a slightly disturbing prospect and possibly just as well. They had enough to do to keep their eyes on the ball.

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