Otumoetai Football Club's popular Thursday night league will kick off in the Christmas spirit next week.

Hundreds of keen football players head down to Fergusson Park to take part in the weekly 5-a-side round, but on December 6, players are being asked to bring an item of food to donate to the Tauranga Community Foodbank.

Otumoetai Football Club president Paul Thomas said it was the first time the club had supported the foodbank but he hoped to see as many people get involved as possible.

Thomas said club members had read about the Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal and wanted to get involved.


He said there were 62 teams in the round and between 400 and 500 people took part, plus many more partners and family members often supported the players.

The idea of getting people to bring an item of food with them came about when the club's seniors co-ordinator, Jeremy McDonald, said it was the perfect opportunity to collect donations.

"The idea has been pretty well liked by people we have mentioned it to so we're hoping for a good amount," Thomas said.

He said the 5-a-side league was a great opportunity for the club's members and local workplace groups to keep active on the off-season.

"It is social but it gets quite competitive."

Next week's Thursday night round was set to be a fun evening where foodbank donations would be collected, the clubroom bar would be open and there were prizes up for grabs, Thomas said.

Tauranga Community Foodbank's Christmas wishlist:
-Canned tuna/salmon
-Canned vegetables
-Baking supplies – baking powder, icing sugar, cocoa, etc
-Sauces and dressings
-Pasta or rice
-Jellies and puddings
-Cake mixes
-Personal care items ie women's sanitary items, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, razors
-Baby nappies – larger sizes
-Christmas Treats such as Christmas puddings, fruit mince pies and sweet treats.

Players of the 5-a-side league are asked to bring an item of food to donate. Photo / Supplied
Players of the 5-a-side league are asked to bring an item of food to donate. Photo / Supplied