Special weekend ahead as Nelson teams get into community spirit

posted in: Club noticeboard, Events, News

Fourteen teams will come together for a special weekend of sportsmanship, community and mental health advocacy when Golden Bay AFC host the 2024 Battle of the Bay tournament.

Sponsored by Wholemeal Cafe, the March 23-24, 2024, event will raise funds for suicide prevention group Hope Is My Homeboy, as well as the football club.

Outgoing president of Golden Bay Phil Smith said: “The Wholemeal Cafe Battle for the Bay is more than just a football tournament; it’s a platform for promoting mental health awareness and fostering community spirit.”

Smith is the driving force behind the tournament at Golden Bay’s Rec Park.

“Two years ago, I faced the darkest day of my life where I actively went to end my life. It was the most unique feeling of being lost and letting everyone down,” he says.

“My saving grace was my children. From this moment, I know that my family is even bigger.

“It’s the friends I have in the changing room after I lose a game; it’s my mates that are a phone call away.

“For me, playing in the GBAFC Stingrays was my favourite season of footy and Battle for the Bay is about sharing the message that you are enough. That we are all equal and no matter what club or sport we play, never has it been so important to look out for each other.”

Main photo: Phil Smith … ‘Never has it been so important to look out for each other.’

The Battle for the Bay is a mixed tournament, and two high-profile guest teams will make it more special.

The Takaka Rugby Club are adding an exciting cross-code challenge to the mix and local Special Olympics team, the Firebirds, are also joining for an exhibition match.

The Firebirds Special Olympics team.

Players and spectators can look forward to more than entertaining football.

The event will feature a points-based system for displays of sporting behaviour and unity, as well as a podcast tent for discussions on football, mental health, sponsors and more.

“We believe in the power of sports to bring people together and spark important conversations,” Smith says.

“By combining our passion for football with a commitment to mental health advocacy, we hope to break down stigma, provide support, and promote positive well-being within our community.”

The Wholemeal Cafe Battle for the Bay will offer an array of prizes, a raffle, and off-the-pitch entertainment.

The tournament starts with an opening address on Saturday March 23, at 9.15am.

It will end with a closing ceremony and awards presentation at about 2.50pm on Sunday March 24.

More information

Follow Golden Bay and their tournament through the club’s Facebook page >>>>

You can learn more about Hope Is My Homeboy here:

Participating teams

  • Richmond Bogans
  • Tahuna
  • Tahuna Flamingos
  • Motueka
  • Mapua
  • Football Friends
  • Richmond
  • FC Nelson
  • Nelson Suburbs
  • Golden Bay
  • Golden Bay Pumas (youth)
  • Takaka Rugby Club
  • Firebirds Special Olympics
  • Wakefield

Tell Friends of Football your club news

Please let us know what’s happening at your club.

Either send us your media releases or send us a link to your announcement/story on your website.

If we think it’ll interest football fans and our members, we’ll do our best to share your news.

Email us at editor@friendsoffootballnz.com.

Use our logo

Please add our logo to your club’s website and invite your members and supporters to check us out.

More football stories