Cane Ball Tournament promotes intercultural connections

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The City of Greater Bendigo is pleased to support the inaugural Bendigo Karen Youth Network Cane Ball Tournament set to take place from 9:30am to 5pm on Sunday October 28, 2018 at the Bendigo Badminton Stadium, Victoria Street Eaglehawk.

Cane ball is a traditional activity from the Karen community and is considered the national sport of Myanmar (Burma) and people living in refugee camps in that region.  Cane ball features a handwoven rattan ball and is similar in skills to games like hacky sack.  It is considered both a sport, and a traditional cultural performance.

Bendigo Karen Youth Network Group Leader Nay Chee Aung said the tournament will bring people to together to play, watch, have fun and learn more about cane ball.

“We are showcasing the Karen community and their contribution to Bendigo. My dream is to organise this tournament every year to encourage ongoing intercultural understanding and engagement,” Nay Chee Aung said.

Bendigo Community Health Service Karen Community Guide Psao Taveesupmai (‘Nido’) said bringing cane ball to Greater Bendigo encourages both young and old, Karen and non-Karen people to come together.

“It also supports our Karen youth to hold onto this important cultural element.” Nido said.

City of Greater Bendigo Community Partnerships Manager Steven Abbott said since arriving in 2007 over 2000 Karen people have been welcomed into the Greater Bendigo Community. 

“The Cane Ball Tournament provides an opportunity to share their cultural heritage with the broader community and I encourage members of the community to attend this inaugural cultural event,” Mr Abbott said.

Bendigo Community Health Service will also utilise the event as a vehicle to promote mental health awareness and build the skills of the Karen community in event management.

Members of the Greater Bendigo community are invited to come along to the tournament.  Entry to the tournament is by gold coin donation.

The tournament is being supported by a range of local organisations including Bendigo Community Health Service, City of Greater Bendigo, Sports Focus and the Department of Premier and Cabinet. 

 

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