Blast day to collect youth voice | News | Kawerau

Blast day to collect youth voice

20 March 2015

BUBBLE SUITS: Bubble soccer combines traditional football with big bubble suits. Photo supplied

A REVIEW of Kawerau’s youth policy will take off with a “blast”.

An event complete with lasers and inflatable suits has been announced to help collect youth feedback.

Kawerau district councillors learned about a Kawerau Bubble Blast planned for April 8 at their regulatory and services committee meeting on Tuesday.

The day is part of an effort to collect feedback from Kawerau’s young people about what they think of their town. This information will underpin the council’s new youth policy.

Events and community activities team leader Lee Barton said his team sat down a few weeks ago to brainstorm what type of activities would attract a crowd before settling on laser tag and bubble soccer.

“I’ve asked a few young people what they reckon about it already and they just couldn’t wait to give the day a go, it should be a real blast,” Mr Barton said.

Laser tag involves a battlefield scenario with each participant equipped with an infra-red laser gun to tag opponents.

A specially-designed inflatable obstacle course will be created in the darkened Ron Hardie Recreation Centre with pumping sounds, flashing lights, smoke machine and laser displays, Mr Barton said.

The Kawerau Youth Council will manage this event with help from youth projects officer JJ Rika.

“I approached some Kawerau youths and asked them for their thoughts about possibly hosting laser tag in Kawerau; their faces lit up with excitement,” Mr Rika said.

The second activity, bubble soccer, combines traditional soccer and big bubble suits.

These suits transform players into human air bags by enclosing their upper body in a huge inflatable bubble and sending players flying through the air as they scramble for the ball.

Take the Lead facilitator Amy Hayes and a group of students from Tarawera High School will run this activity outside the centre.

“The Take the Lead girls will play a huge role in the day from organisation, marking pitches, registration, safe use of equipment and refereeing the games, through to gathering feedback from their peers,” she said.

Bubble Soccer will play seven-minute halves, with a maximum of four players on each team, while lazer tag would host 20-minute games with up to 10 people on each team.

Organisers hoped the event would attract 200 people aged 11 to 18.

Mr Barton said Kawerau Bubble Blast would open at 9am, with games starting from 10am. It would be a free event but participants were encouraged to bring a gold coin donation.

All proceeds would go toward Kawerau RSA to support the 2015 Anzac Day commemorations.

Mr Barton said that during Bubble Blast, Infinite ConnectioNZ youth consultant Heidi Mills would help collect feedback on Kawerau through surveys and questionnaires.

Once feedback was collected from other stakeholder’s involved with the town’s youth, the data would be collated and evaluated, he said.

Mr Barton said Ms Mills would use this information to create a report, which would become the building block for the council’s draft youth policy.

The first draft of her report was expected to be completed by the end of June.

Source: Whakatane Beacon