State Youth Games is a weekend of fun, games, sport and friendship for 16–28 year olds, held annually in Bunbury over the long weekend in June. The games provide an opportunity for church teams to come together and compete over the weekend in a range of sports and activities in a friendly and fun environment.
Run by Youth Vision, a project of the Churches of Christ, the games are open to any denomination. Cameron Barnes, State Youth Games co-ordinator, said that the games are structured in a way that is open and welcoming, to give people who aren’t familiar with church an opportunity to hang out with Christians in a casual environment. This also gives young Christians an opportunity to invite their non-church friends along for a weekend of fun.
“I’m constantly hearing stories of people who, by their own admission, would never have set foot in a church building, but were quite happy to come along to a sporting carnival. Through State Youth Games they discovered a community of people they could belong to, and through that community found out about a God who loves them,” Cameron said.
It’s also a way to breakout of the confining structures of youth ministry and day-to-day activities, in preparation for adulthood.
“We’ve set the age range for State Youth Games participants to be from year 11 through to 28 so that churches can use it to introduce their older youth to their young adult’s ministry before they finish school,” Cameron said. “This helps bridge the gap between a structured teenagers program to the typically informal young adults program. We’ve found the mix of friendly organised sporting competition and casual social interaction at State Youth Games to be a great environment for cultivating friendships and mentoring relationships.”
The U Team has represented the Uniting Church WA for a number of years and registrations are now open for new members. Adele Williams, from Nedlands Uniting Church, has attended State Youth Games in the past and is pumped for the next round.
“It’s an exhilarating experience; showing great sportsmanship, teamwork, and grace,” she said. “I can’t wait till this year’s games. Bring it on!”
State Youth Games is held in Bunbury from Friday 29 May–Monday 1 June.
To find out how you can join the U Team or volunteer at the next State Youth Games, contact Rick Pekan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more info visit http://www.sygwa.com.au.