Leauva'a Youth Olympics

 

13 August 2012 | General Interest

Leauva’a Youth Olympics

13 August: Leauva’a Samoa

 

The Leauva’a Youth Olympics commenced soon after the closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games on the other side of the world. The games were the initiative of the St Michael’s Parish Youth Group, under the leadership of their Executive Committee. The games were held on the Monday after Fathers’ Day, which is public holiday in Samoa to allow people to return to their own villages after visiting their fathers over the weekend.

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The venue for the games was the St John Bosco Sports Field at St Michael’s Parish, land reclaimed from the ocean and now the best open recreation spaces in the district. The eighty of so participants were divided into four teams, each with an identifying colour and nominally called Samoa, Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica. Events included the sprints, rugby, basketball, volleyball, relays, and some novelty events such as the sack race and a “blind relay”. Unfortunately, the latter event was marred by a serious accident which saw two competitors taken to hospital in the parish utility. They later returned to re-join the games and are recovering from their injuries.

The games were a truly Salesian celebration of youth and life. All the planning and organisation of the day was done by the young people themselves. It was a great example of peer ministry in action. Even the preparation and cooking of the curry and rice lunch was done by a generous team of young men who gave up the games to prepare the food for all the competitors.

The games were fun-filled, competitive and joyous in every aspect. Australia claimed and early lead in competition with victory in both the male and female sprints. New Zealand was competitive all day but was seldom able to take a gold. Jamaica’s team spirit was strong but their competitive edge was blunted by the absence of some of their more athletic team members. In the end, it was Samoa with its domination of the team sports that eventually won the day.

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