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With nearly 1,000 players and 100 teams, Waterside Karori offers football to players of all ages - from 3 to 80. 


Our Swifts Academy programmes aim to ensure Karori players set the benchmark for talent, skill and ability.


Our Holiday Programmes, Waterside Training Programme, Football Fives 5-a-side and Football in Schools provide players more opportunities to have fun playing football and to remain involved in football throughout the year.

Our Men's and Women's first teams play in the Central Leagues. 


Waterside Karori was formed from the merger of two renowned Wellington football clubs - Karori Swifts and Waterside.


Karori Swifts

The Wellington Swifts were formed in 1894. They played in a maroon shirt and dark shorts. The Swifts football club were a nomadic bunch with no roots to any one district, wandering all over Wellington before moving to Karori in the 1950's.


The Swifts were a successful club early on, winning the Venus Shield seven times before the First World War. This was the highest honour for Wellington teams prior to the Chatham Cup being established in 1923.


The Wellington Swifts changed their name to Karori Swifts in the late 1960's, giving them an identity with the suburb. Benburn Park became the senior home ground and there were two junior sized grounds at Karori Park. The closeness to the Karori Cricket Club rooms, and the fact that a group of football players also played for Karori Cricket, started an association between the two clubs and with Karori Park.




Waterside were formed in 1921, and played in black and white stripes. They were one of the most famous football clubs in New Zealand during the late thirties and early forties, due to the success the club had in winning the Chatham Cup four times (1938, 1939, 1940 and 1947). Watersides' early success was mainly due to the Port of Wellington employing many British workers, who were crazy about football.


In 1951 disaster hit the club. There was a waterfront dispute which lasted 151 days and only five players returned from that industrially-ravaged season to play in 1952. It took around 9 years for the industrial problems to recede, and then Wharfies started to rebuild.


In 1965, land was leased from the city council at Kaiwharawhara and clubrooms erected there. The area was top-soiled, drainage laid and floodlighting installed, at considerable cost, to provide players with facilities approaching the best in Wellington at the time. In 1978 the club changed its name to Columbus Waterside in appreciation of the major sponsorship received from the Columbus Shipping Line.


The merger


By the mid 1980's, Waterside was a wealthy club and was experiencing success in the top men’s leagues. Karori Swifts strength was in its size. Karori had 10 men’s teams, 2 women’s teams and 40 junior teams, but it lacked success at the higher levels. A merger of the two clubs was seen to benefit Swifts by way of status and sponsorship money, whilst Waterside would benefit from expanding its small player base.


The merger took place in 1987, forming Waterside Karori AFC. The question of strip was easily decided. Waterside played in black and white, as did most other sports codes in Karori, so those colours became the club’s new strip.


Waterside Karori AFC today

The club currently has 14 men's teams, 3 women's teams and over 700 junior members.

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