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Junior Carnival: a diary

Posted: 25-Jan-2013 by Maccabi NSW



Fore more pictures, visit the Junior Carnival Facebook albums page here.

Monday 14th:

I can’t cope! There’s so much happening. Kiwis and WA teams arrived today. They are in good spirits. The extra days rest will be good for those competing in the Athletics. Mick Vasin has rung me 33 times today, and each decision I make seems to take a year off my life! I am confident all will be right, with a great team in place. 24 hours to go…………….maybe I should write my speech for the Opening Ceremony?

Tuesday 15th:

We met the Victorian and Queensland teams today. I was worried about the logistics at the airport, especially for the large Victorian team, but all was good. I asked the parents to line-up and they did! If they listen to me, we’ve got half a chance with their kids!

230 of the 550 kids at Carnival participated in the Athletics. Hensley is a great venue and the Little Athletics organisers did a great job.

Opening Ceremony was sensational. Special honour to have the Minister of Sport, Graham Annesley to officially open the Carnival, along with Jeanne Futeran, the immediate past President of Maccabi World Union and a swag of dignitaries. Ex Wallaby and current Maccabi Rugby Coach, Glen Ella gave the traditional welcome from the local Aboriginal people, reading from a not so traditional mobile phone! Adam Katz performed and he was brilliant, and all the teams got up and danced. New Zealanders did the Haka, and being ex Kiwi, I joined them. Bit rusty on the actions and think I may have put a lot out when I took my shirt off!


Wednesday 16th:

Early start with a breakfast meeting with all interstate team management and youth leaders at White City. The first day of sports commenced in perfect conditions. Morning sports consisted of netball, lawn bowls, touch football and AFL 9’s. Great to se lots of NSW participants have a go at AFL, which was naturally dominated by the Victorians. The inclusion of AFL was a Carnival first! Netball was keenly contested by a large contingent of 200 plus girls.

There was a break for lunch at Moriah,. Despite plenty of healthy options, the hot chips line was by far the longest! A couple of Waratah’s turned up, and struggled to avoid the Kiwi’s telling them that they could expect more of the same as last year!

Following lunch, the kids went to their afternoon choices of tennis at White City, 6 a side football, Golf and Ultimate Frisbee. The latter, the fastest growing sport in the world, was a Carnival first. Golf, run by our Golf Club, was held on the beautiful St. Michaels course.

That night, we had our first social function, a Harbour Cruise Dance Party on the largest boat on Sydney Harbour. In perfect conditions the kids boogied to the sounds of DJ Les Cohen and the boat took us under the Harbour Bridge and back to Rose Bay Wharf. It was a great ice-breaker allowing kids and Management to let their hair down. Even the Vics had to agree, Sydney is a beautiful City!

Thursday 17th:

Another morning meeting. Blurry eyes and it is only the 3rd day! Today was a repeat of yesterday.It was a lot hotter, particularly on the netball courts. The pick of the sports was the beautiful shaded facilities at the Double Bay Bowling Club. Some of the sports had finals. Best was definitely the Touch football, which was well run by Joel Weiner. Queensland faced off against a composite NZ/WA team. The Kiwi’s raised the competitive level with a haka before the start (Noted I was not asked to participate this time!). Despite the energetic Haka, they went down to the Queenslanders who were a BIG bunch of boys.

That night we all went to Botany Pool for a massive pool party. Social committee of Ivy, Raveena, Jodi, Ruth and Toni did a fantastic job. There were floating slides in the main pool, fluorescent Zorb Balls (The kids get in the ball and roll on top of the water) in the small pool and on the grass. The waterslide got massive use, and there was great music to boot. It was a really chilled atmosphere. Noted that many of the management team got wet as well, raising the water height upon entry and scaring us all upon exit. I was beginning to feel better about my disrobing for the Hakah!


Friday 18th:

Community Day. First introduced at Melbourne Carnival, this is an opportunity for our participants to experience the pleasure of “giving back” to the Community. Leanne Shelton organised for the kids to attend at 15 charities. It was a great day for all, although the heat was hard for those doing outdoor activities such as painting fences at Centenial Park or picking up rubbish at beaches for Clean Up Australia. I attended with the group that went to the Jewish Museum (Smart…airconditioned) and we heard stories from survivors and toured the museum. Feedback was great. Those that worked with old people (No, not Team Management!) at the Monti and the Benevolent Society were particularly enriched by the experience.

Shabbat heralded in a break from activities. All attended Shule at Central and Kehillat Masada. Rabbi Mendel spoke at Central. He has been with us from the start, attending organising committee meetings and providing support and advice. It was great to have him at Carnival and an honour to have him speak.

Saturday 19th:

After a day off, we all attended Life of Pi. We saw it in 3D, a Carnival first. Great movie, although 550 kids can be a bit rowdy. I believe the few public who attended asked for their money back. We did warn them……………..

Sunday 19th:

Everyone got into 12 buses for the trip out to Glenworth Valley for the Mud Run. The good news was, it was raining. Perfect weather for a Mud Run. The Valley was green, beautiful and………….muddy! This was a feature event of the Carnival and another first. The kids navigated a 7km course, through mud holes, fording rivers, crawling over and under and through obstacles, and sliding down a water slide into a pool of mud and water. Youth Leaders dressed up in funny wigs, super hero outfits and other bizarre paraphernalia. Most loved it, some complained but all agreed, they would never forget the experience for the rest of their lives! EVERYONE was covered in mud from head to foot. They washed it off in the river. More hot chips sold on that day then any other!

That night we again got wet. This time it was foam. Two massive foam machines plus pounding dance music were the perfect combination for a great night out at Rose Bay School.


Monday 20th:

We split the group, Years 6 and 7 going to Beach Day while Years 8 and 9 went to Indoor Sports in the North. The weather was perfect for Beach Day at Brighton Le-Sands. The kids were split into 4 groups and enjoyed Beach Volleyball, Beach Touch Football, Swimming and Iron Man games conducted by Surf Lifesavers. Beach Day was another Carnival first, and was great fun for all. You haven’t visited Sydney unless you’ve got sand between your toes and had a dip!

The indoor sports were fabulously organised, but distances between venues proved challenging. Each day we returned to Masada College for lunch. Buese were late back, which meant we had a few irate parents. But logistics had been good until then, so hopefully we will be forgiven!

That night was show night at the Science Theatre at UNSW. What a night. While we waited to enter, we were entertained by fire jugglers, stilt people and gymnasts. Once inside, Bill Wheeler, a hypnotist, followed on from Michael Jackson. Bill was amazing and had us all mesmerised. He had hypnotised kids dancing in the aisles and strangely, speaking Korean!



Tuesday 21st:

The last day. Every one looking worse for wear!

The Sports were a repeat of Monday except years 6 and 7 went to indoor and years 8 and 9 went to Beach Day. It was tough at the beach, with temperatures hitting 30 degrees. At one point, it looked like 250 kids doing the “Chicken Dance” on the beach, as the white sand became too hot to walk on. Hopefully Captain Cook had shoes on when he first landed here in 1770 (Sensibly, he did so in April!).

At the end of an enormous 7 days, we came to the Closing Ceremony at the Scientia Building in UNSW.

The closing Ceremony, ably compeered by Yoni Hochberg and Rami Tal, saw speeches from myself (I am trying hard to keep them down to 5 minutes!); and Lisa Borowick, Maccabi Australia President awarded Management tokens of appreciation. Each Team Manager spoke and awarded Best and Fairest prizes. Finally, the flag was given to Perth who will host next years Carnival, and this years was declared closed. But it hadn’t quite closed. The cohort partied away, in the best Olympic tradition to the thump of the DJ’s, had their faces painted, and tried the newest dance craze, the Silent disco. Testimony to the success of the Carnival, where, all sport aside, it is the friendships that endure, it was a long goodbye. Waiting parents had to be patient at the end of the night, while the hugging, kissing and tears all flowed.

Wednesday 22nd:

Silence. Amazing to think it was possible to have a life after Carnival. I miss the kids and all of my team already. How brilliant it was to work with such enthusiastic, committed and giving individuals. Particularly our amazing youth leaders-the future of Maccabi. How great to see the smiling faces of the kids, to watch them compete, to watch them party. I’m exhausted. I know both my team and all the kids are too. But, how satisfying to have been a part of this.

Only one thing left to do………………Go to Perth in 2014!

Carnival 2020


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