Competition set up for local rangatahi to put on a youth-focused event

The Whanganui Youth Council and YESS are offering $1,000 in funding for a youth-focused event created by rangatahi. Photo / Bevan Conley

Two key institutions that help young people in Whanganui are collaborating to organize a contest designed to amuse the city’s young people.

The Whanganui Youth Council and Whanganui Secondary Schools Youth Empowering Sport Squad (YESS) and Sport Whanganui have collaborated to create Awhi te Rangatahi, a competition where local youth come up with an idea to organize an inclusive project, event or program through sport, play or recreation.

The winning submission will receive $1,000 in funding to bring their pitch to life.

Awhi te Rangatahi is open to all local youth: groups or individuals, sports clubs and community organizations.

Abbey Peters and Eloise Bradshaw, students at Cullinane College and YESS Council members, say Awhi te Rangatahi is a way to help young people find new relationships and activities in their community.

The couple hoped that lesser-known sports could pique the interest of young people, which could help them develop.

It would also help young people find new passions they might not have discovered, they said.

Stacy White, Project Support Manager for the Youth Council, said Awhi te Rangatahi was created based on a model similar to popular TV shows Shark Tank and Dragons’ Den.

“For this project, we are looking for applications from rangatahi who have ideas for inclusive projects, events or programs through sports, active recreation or games that could benefit from support to get started. “

Community Activator with Sport Whanganui Dinelle Saunders said she has received great applications so far and encouraged others to apply before the March 16 deadline.

“If there’s something they want to see happen, all they need is an idea, a rough plan and the will to follow through – we can offer support around implementation of the project,” said Saunders.

The collaboration between the WDC Youth Council and YESS meant that the final decision rested with the young people involved.

“They’re looking for fun, physical and inclusive ideas that don’t necessarily need to fit into a ‘sports’ box.

“It’s really important that young people’s voices are heard and this is one way of doing that. With so much affected by the pandemic, it’s also a way of letting our young people know that their opinions are valued, that they matter and that things can still be predicted.”

Applications close March 16. On March 25, Whanganui District Council Youth Council and YESS Council will shortlist applications and contact all applicants.

On March 30, each shortlisted candidate will be invited to pitch their idea in a brief face-to-face interview with the panel. The winning idea will be announced the following day, March 31.

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