How we use Cookies

Thousands turn up for 14th annual Gurkha Cup

Footballers and spectators enjoy "event for everyone" in Aldershot

 

Hundreds of footballers flocked to a unique tournament in Aldershot on Sunday.

The event was the 14th instalment of the Gurkha Cup and teams from as far afield as Portugal and Belgium travelled to the fields at Queens Avenue for the charity contest.

Estimated crowds of 12,000 were also there watching and enjoying food, stalls and a welcoming atmosphere in the bright sunshine.

Gurkha Cup co-ordinator Dhan Gurung said: "The perception of quite a lot of people is this is an event for the Gurkha or Nepalese people, but in fact we're trying to run this event for everyone."

Gurkha Welfare Trust and cancer research were among the causes supported this year with the event featuring 40 teams in the main section and eight more made up of veterans.

There were long queues for parking, and for some matches crowds were gathered right the way around the pitch to watch the action.

There was international interest in the Gurkha Cup 2014
Nepali TV was filming at the event

"It was lovely weather last year and this year it's been great too," Mr Gurung added.

"The message we're trying to get across is this event is growing bigger and bigger."

The Tamu Dhee Association UK runs the event, which attracted the interest of Nepali TV whose cameramen and reporters were there.

Kamal Gurung, president of the charity serving the Gurung people from parts of Nepal who live in the UK, explained the importance of the organisation and events such as the Gurkha Cup.

"Since immigration rules changed a lot of Nepalese people, mainly ex-Gurkha soldiers, are settling in this country so obviously we need some community meeting.

"We established this organisation in 2000. The main aim of this event is to give a platform for the youngsters to meet and all the retired soldiers' families, they come here, they meet each other.

"It's very difficult to raise money here but we're meeting and greeting people - this is our profit."

Kamal Gurung, president of the Tamu Dhee Association UK
 

"The atmosphere all depends on the weather but we've been lucky so far, every year the weather is good, so the atmosphere is tremendous," Mr Gurung added.

"To be honest I don't watch football so much but my responsibility is to make sure they enjoy themselves.

"I always feel Aldershot is our home, this has been home of the British Army for so many years so we are very familiar with this area and so many Nepalese are settling in this area."

The winner of the main tournament was Tongba FC while Dharan Samaj UK won the veterans' event.

 

Latest Football News

Journalists

Pete Bryant
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Laura Nightingale
Yateley Reporter
Natalie Garland
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Fergus McEwan
Community & Schools Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
Full newsroom contact details
Tell us what's happening in your area