Filipinos gather for tournament

If you visited the Queenstown Events Centre on Sunday you would be forgiven for thinking you had left the resort's cold start to winter behind for the Philippines.

The centre hosted about 150 Filipinos who were competing in the annual South Island sports tournament and another 50 family members of the athletes were estimated to have travelled to the resort.

Queenstown hosted the event which is usually held in Christchurch.

Queenstown Association of Migrant Pinoys Inc (QAMPI) president Ghani Ayo explained that basketball ''is the main sport for Filipinos'' and the final game, which was still to be played when the Queenstown Times spoke to him, would be hotly contested and watched by many.

The Filipino community in the resort numbered about 200 but ''only about 20%'' were participating in the sports tournament.

Other athletes came from Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin, Balclutha, Ashburton, Timaru and Gore.

Mr Ayo said the tournament, which was held at Wakatipu High School on Saturday before moving to the events centre on Sunday, allowed Filipinos to come together from different areas, compete and make new friends.

The event was supported by the Queenstown Lakes District Council.