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The Pacific Series: It's more than rugby league

Layla Bailey-McDowell
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players performing Siva Tau before a game   Layla Bailey-McDowell

Over the weekend teams from all over Aotearoa took the field at Burnside Park, to represent their culture and play some footy.

In comparison to other competitions, the Pacific series runs a little different. The only two categories who would play in a final are the men and women. With registered teams from under 6 all the way to youth girls and boys, the sole purpose of the series is to allow athletes the opportunity to represent their culture and have fun doing it. The competitive nature is still most definitely there; however, this format allows players and supporters to truly live in the moment and come together as a community no matter where you come from. Flags of different Pacific Nations could be seen flying in the air whilst teams took the field and performed either haka, Siva Tau, Sipi Tau or Cibi. It was a successful weekend, which truly encompasses everything that it means to be a Pacific person in Aotearoa. From yummy kai available at the variety of food stalls, to shaking hands at the ending of each game, there was plenty of action at this year's Pacific Series. And my favourite part? Seeing players and supporters show up with passion and mana whilst embracing their culture. 

Check out this episode to hear from the event organiser, some young athletes and to see some of the action on Friday.