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.