Leaving your family and friends and heading overseas can be a daunting experience. Cultural differences and language barriers can make things challenging, so it’s always nice when you can connect with others from home. Getting involved in sport is not only a good way to stay fit and active – it’s also a great way to meet likeminded people, and in New Zealand there’s certainly no shortage of clubs and organisations that visitors can join.
We’re constantly striving to help visitors make the most of their time in New Zealand. That usually involves providing the most cost-effective medical and travel insurance on the market, but we’re always on the lookout for other ways we can contribute to a fantastic overseas experience.
Recently we had the opportunity to sponsor a local Filipino basketball team,the first all-Filipino team ever to play in the men’s division of the prestigious Canterbury Basketball Association (CBA) tournament.
The Pilipinas Azkals is a composite team created from the Filipino Basketball League’s (FBL) best players. That South Island-wide competition was established two years ago, with organisers looking to foster camaraderie amongst the large Filipino community.
Basketball is the most popular sport in the Philippines, and the league quickly attracted a wide following and some quality players. That led the organisers behind the FBL to develop the Pilipinas Azkals, with the team making it’s debut in Christchurch’s premier club competition earlier this year.The team quickly adapted to the pace of the game and claimed some significant scalps over the course of the season. After finishing the first round place they topped Pool B in the Top 8 second round, and eventually in 7th made it to the semi-finals, a wonderful effort for a team playing together for the first time!
The team has helped unite the local Filipino community, and is a great example of how sport can be used to bring people together. If you’d like to keep up to date with the progress of the Pilipinas Azkals, and learn more about who we are and what we do, check out our Facebook page