Your church in action: Youth bounce into Tamworth evening of fun

Enjoying the action at Kick Off: Sophie Brooking, Dykota Hammond, Nick McNamee, youth leader Sarah Wall  and Caden Brooking having great fun at Kick-Off.
Enjoying the action at Kick Off: Sophie Brooking, Dykota Hammond, Nick McNamee, youth leader Sarah Wall and Caden Brooking having great fun at Kick-Off.

Now in its eighth year, the annual Kick-Off event has become a milestone in the Tamworth youth calendar. 

It is hosted by Word of Life, an international Christian youth agency who travel Australia, teaching in high schools and holding training and events to help young people make good choices.

Friday night comes and young people from across the schools and churches of Tamworth start lining up at the Sports Dome.

Some are here for the first time, but most have strong memories of what’s in store.

On checking in, contestants don a tabard with the colour of their team.

For a while, it’s a free for all, trying out the bizarre equipment and the 25 metre inflatable obstacle mountain.

Then the compere rallies the teams and explains the first contest. It’s the giant basketball challenge, bouncing a huge ball up to an inflatable hoop amid the delighted cheers of each team’s support squad.

But it didn’t matter if you dropped it because your team is cheering you on all the way.

And so the night continues through the ride-on sausages, the 3-D spider web, the tumbling cube and who could forget the deadly “lose your head” relay.

Half-time and everyone takes a breather as a member of the team has a talk about the amazing planet we live on and the One who made it.

After the deafening cheers of the team support, the silence as those young people bow their heads to pray is electrifying.

The break is over and the games continue.

This was Kick-Off 18, an unforgettable night of hilarious contests.

But through it all, there was a real buzz that young people could come together and help each other to have an evening of clean, safe fun, – and all of it happens in a Christian context.