Kicking down barriers; pictures

DANCE and music can traverse spoken language, and in Bendigo on Saturday soccer also worked to break down barriers.

Bendigo Community Health Services held a multicultural soccer day at Golden City Soccer Club as part of Men's Health Week, where teams from the Afghan and Karen communities took on Bendigo organisations in seven-a-side matches.

Sixteen teams took to the field for the day, including Bendigo Police, the City of Greater Bendigo and Axe Creek Cricket Club.

Organiser Kaye Graves said soccer was a popular game in all communities.

"The point of the day is to bring us all together for a fun and friendly game of soccer, and for people to meet each other," she said.

"Soccer is a connection between us all."

Today is a special day for us. They are all very excited to be involved. - Tha Wah

Ms Graves said another reason for the day was to let people know Bendigo Community Health Services also provide support for newly-arrived families.

The fast-footed Karen and Afghan teams dominated throughout the afternoon, with several teams from Swan Hill and Dandenong, as well as all-girl teams.

Players representing the Afghan and Karen communities, as well as local organisations, took part in a soccer tournament in Bendigo on Saturday. Picture: ADAM HOLMES

Players representing the Afghan and Karen communities, as well as local organisations, took part in a soccer tournament in Bendigo on Saturday. Picture: ADAM HOLMES

Karenni coach Tha Wah said the players enjoyed playing other teams.

"During the week they play on fields where ever they can," he said.

"Today is a special day for us.

"They are all very excited to be involved."

Men's Health Week officially starts on Monday and includes a number of events in Bendigo and district.

Lake Weeroona will hold a wooden boat race between local Men's Sheds.

There is also a Ride for Dad on Saturday at the O'Keefe Rail Trail, starting and finishing at Peppercorn Park.

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