Football for All (FFA) program now in Christchurch

Mainland Football is excited to announce the arrival of the Football for All (FFA) program to the Christchurch area. FFA is primarily focused on engaging with whānau of refugee and immigrant backgrounds that have newly arrived to our region. 

Adam Keizer, Community Development Officer for Mainland Football, describes the broad aims of the project, saying “Football For All provides our local clubs the opportunity to connect with a wider community and help young people for different backgrounds and cultures feel part of our football whānau here in Christchurch.” 

The FFA program uses football as a vehicle to foster a sense of haurora, belonging and inclusion for the tamariki and whānau by removing barriers to accessing organized football, as well as giving individual support for those involved. The program provides support through four central pillars:  

  • Funding all player registration and associated costs;  

  • Funding and organizing transportation to and from trainings and matches;  

  • Providing football boots, shinpads, training kits and all football equipment;

  • Funding a Community Coordinator to work directly with all participants, their whanau and our clubs and manage the project.

FFA is expanding into Christchurch from the Capital Football Region, where it is has been running successfully for the last 4 years. This year, it is on track to support 250+ tamariki in the Capital region for the upcoming Football season.  

For the initial phase of FFA in the Mainland Football region, we have already filled our 20, fully-funded, spaces with recently arrived refugee tamariki aged 5-19. There has been demand for places, which exceeds the number of people we can support at this present stage, however, we will be looking to expand the number of participants involved in the program in the next phase. Of the current participants, the vast majority have arrived in Aotearoa from Eastern Africa, specifically Eritrea and Somalia.  

FFA is funded through a myriad of sponsors, among which are Capital Football, the Lloyd Morrison Foundation and Aotearoa’s sole professional football team, the Wellington Pheonix. Without these partnerships FFA would not be able to run successfully in the Mainland region. Martin Field-Dodgson (CEO of Mainland Football) emphasizes this point: 

“We’re really excited about launching the Football for All program within the Mainland region. Thanks to a partnership with Capital Football and the Wellington Phoenix we have been able to pull together the resources to successfully implement this into Mainland. Essentially, we’re using football as a vehicle to foster inclusion, participation and hauora which speaks directly to our strategic purpose of “facilitating positive experiences for all”. Last year saw the introduction of a number of innovative community programs and Football for All further develops these to ensure we’re offering equitable opportunities wherever we can”.  

Mainland Football is thrilled to have Football for All now running in our region and the ability to use Football as a tool for creating positive opportunities and experiences for refugees in Christchurch.  

For more information about Football For All in Christchurch, please contact our Coordinator Logan Martin-Feek at   

Article added: Monday 03 April 2023


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