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Second Cane Ball tournament promotes intercultural connections

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A record 18 teams will contest the second annual Bendigo Karen Youth Network Cane Ball Tournament on Saturday June 22 at the Bendigo Badminton Stadium in Eaglehawk.

Bendigo Karen Youth Network Group Leader Nay Chee Aung said the City of Greater Bendigo supported tournament would bring together players from Canberra, Nhill, Werribee and Ringwood and the Bendigo community.

“Organisers are thrilled to have doubled the number of players in just the second year of the tournament,” Mr Aung said.

“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.

“We are showcasing the Karen community and their contribution to Bendigo.

“Bendigo Community Health Services will promote mental health awareness and build event management skills in the Karen community through the event.

“It is really important for the Karen community to have events like these which allow them to get out and be active in their new community and make new friends.”

Mr Aung invited the Greater Bendigo community to attend the tournament between 9am and 4pm to learn more about cane ball, Karen culture and have some fun.

City of Greater Bendigo Community Partnerships Manager Steven Abbott said more than 2000 Karen people had been welcomed into the Greater Bendigo Community since 2007. 

“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 cultural event,” Mr Abbott said.

The Bendigo Karen Youth Network Cane Ball Tournament is supported by Welcoming Australia, the City of Greater Bendigo, Bendigo Community Health Services, Sports Focus and the Department of Home Affairs.

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