This weekend’s Rotorua Youth Festival is gearing up to be a fun, action-packed day for local rangatahi, bringing together free entertainment, cultural activities, sports competitions and support with career pathways.
Now in its third year, the event will bring together a range of local providers, each with a different message but ultimately all working together to support youth and their whānau.
On offer will be rugby league tournaments, netball drills, ki-o-rahi, safe play warm up drills, volleyball, gutterball, biking zones, skateboard and scooter competitions as well as 3 on 3 basketball matches. Exhibitions of wood, bone and stone carving will also be on show as well as raranga/fax weaving tutorials.
Miss Rotorua, Youthtown, Rotorua Youth Centre and Manaaki Ora to name a few will also be in attendance to kōrero with youth and their families.
Local bands and singers will take to the stage to provide entertainment accompanied by kapa haka and Cook Island dance performers. For those interested in gaming, the Digital Natives Academy will have a gaming space set up for battles.
Founder and Chief Executive of Tātai Ora, the organisation responsible for coordinating this kaupapa, Sasho Stosic says the festival aims to give youth a sense of empowerment and is the only rangatahi focused event that combines sport, health and wellbeing, music, arts and culture, education and career pathways.
“It really is a one-stop-shop; we have an amazing bunch of providers who are coming to support their own kaupapa and we hope that there is something for everyone.”
Mr Stosic says the festival would not be possible without the generous support of volunteers who give their time and aroha to the kaupapa.
“We are fortunate to also have funding from Rotorua Trust which will go towards volunteer kai, security, event coordination and promotion. Without the funding and volunteers this event would not happen – we are very thankful for the support the community and local providers have shown us already.”
Rotorua Trust Chairman, Stewart Edward says the Rotorua Youth Festival is a positive event that showcases local talent, services and providers in one place which can be attended by the whole whānau.
“The $13,300 grant was approved by our trustees as the festival can reach many people all whilst promoting vibrancy among our community.
The festival targets youth aged 13-18 but welcomes all for a fun day out. The event will be held at Puketawhero Park, Owhata from 10am-5pm this Sunday 11 April. The event will go ahead rain, hail or shine, keep an eye on https://www.facebook.com/rotoruayouthfestival for updates.