Hundreds of youth converge on Featherston for The Games 2017

It was all go last Sunday at Card Reserve, Featherston, with 350 youth participating in the annual Games, held by Anglican Youth Ministries.

Over a dozen youth groups from across the Diocese converged on the Wairarapa to go head-to-head in a Top Town-style series of challenges, followed by a barbecue and a swim.  Games included traditional sports like touch and tug-o-war, right through to the more madcap events like the human raft race, giant inflatable obstacle course, Scattergories and penalty shoot out.

“This is part of our annual youth event calendar so that young people in the Wellington Diocese can see that they’re part of a bigger community and not just on their own,” says Alan Maxwell, Youth Co-ordinator for the Wairarapa; “and it’s a great catalyst for getting all the youth ready for Easter Camp, which sees 2000 youth gather over four days to have fun together.”

The games are designed to build teamwork and a sense of family across the Diocese, with prizes not only for sporting prowess but also for sportsmanship and even costume design!  This year, a combined effort saw the Parishes of Trentham and Silverstream taking out Best Costume for their “Ghostbusters” outfits, with a strong commendation for the team from Tawa-Linden in their “Where’s Wally?” get-up.  However, collegiality spilled out across parish boundaries when a female contestant completed her race and then, in an Olympic-esque moment, returned to the aid of one of her competitors who had fallen over, helping her up and completing the race with her.  As a reward for her demonstration of Diocesan one-ness, this young lady won the 2017 Award for Sportsmanship.

This year has seen the event move from its usual spot in Waikanae, over the hill to Featherston. “Hosting it in Featherston has allowed more of our youth to participate, and the Community Board, Council and local businesses have been amazing in showing their support,” says Alan.  This year’s Games have proven the strength of relationship that members of the Church have within the community, drawing on connections across Council, corporate organisations and others to turn the event into the best Games yet.  And as always, the event wouldn’t have succeeded without the staunch involvement and support of volunteers from the parishes of the Wairarapa.

A huge congratulations to all involved – volunteers, organisers and participants – see you next year!

Special thanks to Tranzit, Breadcraft, South Wairarapa District Council, CLM,  Featherston Community Board, Hansells, Park Vale Mushrooms, Loco and Featherston’s Own for their support in this event.