Report from New Zealand

Courtesy: Voxy

Battle for honours in National University Futsal Champs

Tuesday, 10 April, 2018

The best futsal talent from tertiary institutions around New Zealand will converge on Christchurch this week to battle for the National University Futsal Championship titles.

The University of Auckland are looking to defend their men's title and AUT will be the defending women's champions in the tournament which will be staged at Cowles Stadium and Ara Institute from Friday 13 April to Sunday 15 April.

Josh Margetts, a Futsal White who is the Futsal Development Manager for New Zealand Football, said they are looking forward to staging the fourth edition of National University Futsal Championship alongside University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand (UTSNZ).

"This event is the figurehead national competition for tertiary futsal which has a large impact on the wider growth, quality and retention of futsal players in New Zealand," he said. "It is great to see that futsal is becoming a powerhouse sport in the tertiary space with many of these universities and institutes running organised and sustainable futsal programmes and affiliated competitions for their students."

Margetts said the community player base enables a competitive selection process for university teams that are participating in the National University Futsal Championships.

The stakes for the event have gone up a notch this year as the 2018 and 2019 National University Futsal Championships are selection events for the 2020 World University Championships in Poland. Students who are in their final year of study in 2019 are still eligible to play within one year of graduation.

UTSNZ Executive Director, Sarah Anderson, noted there has been a significant increase in the number of tertiary students competing in the championship since 2016.

"With the National University Champs serving as a pathway and selection event for the Worldís in 2020, we are seeing higher levels of participation and performance every year," said Anderson.

"We are eager to see how the higher standard of local competition will affect representative studentsí performance when New Zealand takes to the world stage."

Both the menís and womenís competitions are likely to be closely contested events with eight teams - University of Auckland, Waikato University, Massey University, Ara Institute of Canterbury, Victoria University of Wellington, University of Canterbury, University of Otago and AUT - competing in the menís competition.

There are six teams competing in the womenís competition - Massey University, AUT, University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington, the University of Otago and Waikato University.

"The University of Auckland claimed the title in the menís and AUT took out the womenís competition in 2017 so they will definitely be looking to repeat their success," said Margetts. "No doubt the other universities will prove this is easier said than done."

The National University Futsal Championship is free to attend at the Ara Institute and Cowles Stadium in Christchurch. It will also be covered each day on a live stream at the below link.

National University Futsal Championship

When: 13-15 April

Where: Ara Institute and Cowles Stadium in Christchurch

Who: The event is delivered by NZ Football in association with University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand (UTSNZ)

Follow on a live stream: https://livestream.com/accounts/10469815/events/8143944

Menís Competition

University of Auckland
Waikato University
Massey university
Ara Institute of Canterbury

Victoria University of Wellington
University of Canterbury
University of Otago

Womenís Competition
Massey University
University of Auckland
Victoria University of Wellington
University of Otago
Waikato University

Posted by Luca Ranocchiari --> luca.ranocchiari@futsalplanet.com


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