Football tournament celebrates cultural diversity in the US

A football tournament is bringing together the immigrant and refugee youth of over 26 organisations in Portland, in the United States (US) state of Oregon, to celebrate the city's cultural traditions and diversity.

The annual Portland Parks & Recreation World Cup, which started in 2009, aims to provide opportunities for the city’s youth; integrate immigrants and the multi-cultural communities into the Portland community; acknowledge cultural differences; and create partnerships with the culturally diverse community, organisations and the city of Portland.

Last Thursday (10 April), the organisers Portland Parks & Recreation held the kick-off/sign-up event for this year’s tournament with the support of the US Major Soccer League (MSL) Portland Timbers midfielder Steven Evans.

“The Portland World Cup Soccer Tournament and its related activities help foster awareness about what our city offers for people new to Portland – athletic, educational, career opportunities and more - through the international language of football - also known as soccer here in Portland.” said Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

“The Portland World Cup Soccer Tournament is about much more than a game,” said Polo Catalani of the city’s Office of Equity and Human Rights.

“It’s about investing our efforts now to embrace the changing face of our city, about integrating people new to both Portland and the United States into our society and our quality of life, and about showing them how to take part in democracy.” he explained.

The 5th annual tournament will take between 3 and 4 July 2014.

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