By Mick Jensen
Around 700 competitors and their supporters descended on Ashburton at the weekend for the 2017 South Island Filipino Games.
The two day event offered a range of sports including basketball, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, snooker, darts and tennis.
EA Networks Centre was the headquarters for the games and hosted an opening ceremony on Saturday, where guests included Ashburton mayor Donna Favel and Philippines born district councillor Thelma Bell
Other venues used included the Oxford Street Basketball Stadium, Ashburton College and the RSA.
The games were organised through the Filipino Dairy Workers in New Zealand (FDWNZ) and were a first for Ashburton, said event co-ordinator and FDWNZ South Island chairman Earl Magtibay.
Feedback had been very positive, both in respect to the organisation of the games and the venues, said Mr Magtibay, who lives at Rakaia.
Filipino migrants from all over the South Island had taken part and were part of 13 regional teams.
As well as individual honours, team honours had also been at stake, he said.
The Ashburton team was made up of some of the 300 Filipino families who made Mid Canterbury home.
Mr Magtibay said it had been a very busy weekend and a reunion of sorts for some dairy workers, who had previously worked in Mid Canterbury.
With accommodation tight, some visitors had been accommodated by local Filipino families.
Next year’s South Island Filipino Games would be held in Nelson, said Mr Magtibay.