Having taken part in State Youth Games for a number of years, the Uniting Church team, U Team, this year also took part in the Emerging Youth Games on 22 April at Warwick Stadium, Perth.
While State Youth Games is a weekend event in Bunbury for young people aged 16 and over, Emerging Youth Games invites kids in years 7–10 for a one-day all-inclusive event. Ten people joined the U Team this year, coming from Nedlands, Mt Pleasant and The Billabong Uniting Churches, with around 20 teams taking part.
Emerging Youth Games is organised by Youth Vision, a division of the Churches of Christ in WA. Churches from across the state put together teams who compete in a range of games designed to include people of all abilities.
Adele Williams, from Nedlands Uniting Church, helped co-ordinate the U Team. She explained that the event includes traditional sports, alongside a range of other games. This year games like badminton, table tennis, ultimate Frisbee and soccer were played alongside dodgeball, X-box and connect four. Adele said that Emerging Youth Games, and State Youth Games, is designed to encourage young people to invite their interested friends to a fun, informal introduction to faith. As well as some friendly competition, the day also includes an opening ceremony and a short testimony or sermon.
Being their first year at the games, Adele explained the group felt they wanted to experience it for themselves before inviting friends. After taking part, however, they want to see their group expand.
“They really enjoyed it, but said that they would definitely invite friends next year, or try and encourage other youth from the church to go, because the more people that go the more opportunities here are to play different sports,” Adele said. “I’m pretty happy that the only improvement was that there could be more people. That’s pretty solid.”
The U Team also represented the Uniting Church WA at the State Youth Games in Bunbury from Friday 2–Sunday 5 June. If you are interested in taking part next year, as either a competitor or volunteer, contact Nedlands Uniting Church on 9386 1770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.