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White Ribbon Cup to kick off this weekend

The six teams – Hawke’s Bay United, Waikato FC and YoungHeart Manawatu in the Northern Conference and Canterbury United, Otago United and Team Wellington in the Southern group – will play two games each with the two conference winners meeting in the final on April 1.
The matches, two of which will be hosted in Taupo, will also see local match day activity for the White Ribbon campaign, adopted recently by the All Whites as their official cause.
The White Ribbon campaign raises awareness of men’s violence against women – which in New Zealand is generally directed at wives, girlfriends and other intimate partners.
All games will be played when the ASB Premiership takes breaks for the O-League, which New Zealand sides Auckland City and Waitakere United are currently competing in, giving the teams not involved in Oceania’s premier club competition much needed football.
“One of the main aims is to give all our top domestic teams a bigger diet of football at this level and the White Ribbon Cup is an important step towards that,” New Zealand Football chief executive Grant McKavanagh says.
“With the welcome distraction the O-League causes in our season we needed to find a solution for the other six clubs. It’s also a practical way we can raise awareness of White Ribbon and the positive anti-violence messages of that campaign.”
The campaign is led by the Families Commission which actively supports a suite of family violence initiatives including the It’s Not OK campaign, the Family Violence Clearinghouse, Family Violence Statistics report and the White Ribbon campaign.
“We’re delighted to build on our relationship with New Zealand Football and add the White Ribbon Cup to the support shown already by the All Whites to end violence against women,” Families Commission White Ribbon campaign manager Rob McCann says.
“The campaign is about men talking to men in ways that men understand so sport can be a great vehicle for communicating the message that you can be tough and play with controlled aggression but you can’t bring that aggression into the home.”
New Zealand Football have indicated that future editions of the White Ribbon Cup will have an increased number of rounds to match the full O-League calendar.
Waikato and Hawke’s Bay meet at Taupo’s Crown Park at 2pm on Saturday with Team Wellington hosting Canterbury United at David Farrington Park in the capital at 3pm.
For more information about White Ribbon please visit www.whiteribbon.org.nz
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football.
For more on New Zealand football go to www.nzfootball.co.nz

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