Maccabi Junior Carnival reached its conclusion for 2016 with a frenetic last day filled with sport and festivities. We began bright and early as participants headed to their indoor sports, which comprised of rock climbing, basketball, futsal, volleyball and ten pin bowling.
Whilst a number of sports have been played in a purely social capacity throughout the week, this was certainly not the case at boys futsal. Amongst some unbelievable showings of individual skill on the pitch, there were also some wonderful team efforts. The Victorian side that were crowned champions in the year 8/9 category did so through teamwork and co-operation rather than individual brilliance.
More highlights came as a handpicked all-star team of participants faced off against a side comprising of the best footballers in the ranks of both youth leaders and management. In a closely fought match the leaders managed to defeat the participants with the score line at full-time reading 4-1.
Following a hearty lunch, participants returned to their various sports. The futsal arena now welcomed the year 6 and 7’s which saw a New South Wales side overcome a hard-fighting group of Victorians to claim the title.
At the conclusion of sport came the formal aspect of the afternoon as carnival participants, leadership and important Maccabi figures gathered at All Sorts Alexandria for the official Carnival closing ceremony. Speeches from Carnival manager Justin Shelton, NSW team leader Joel Weiner, President of Maccabi Australia Barry Smorgon OAM and an intimidating haka from team NZ ensured Carnival was finished in style. Awards were handed out to a participant or two from each state before representatives from team WA promoted Maccabi Junior Carnival 2017 which is to be held in Perth.
Carnival had officially come to an end but the final social event of the schedule still remained. Attractivity, a new arcade-style facility located in Alexandria, welcomed Carnival with open arms and allowed unlimited use of their extensive premises. Laser tag, bowling, arcade games, dodgem cars, a ropes course and a 4D rollercoaster style game kept participants entertained all evening long.
As parents arrived to collect their children, it slowly became clear to participants that Carnival was over and the waterworks began. It was great to see how much the friendships developed on Carnival meant to these kids – hopefully they will last a lifetime.
Participants had a wide variety of perspectives on the week that was – the following is a selection of just a few:
"Carni was great. The parties were my favourite part. It was great being able to make new friends and share some awesome experiences with them." - Ben Becker (NSW)
"It was amazing. My highlight was white night. The entertainment was cool and being able to meet new people was really fun. We think we have made some friendships that will last a lifetime" - Lorri Gunn & Chloe Pamamull (VIC)
"It was amazing. My highlight was soccer. I enjoyed it being competitive and the functions were really good as well. On community day I went to friendship circle and it was great having that feeling of helping someone who really needs it. It felt good." - Nicholas Descy (QLD)
"It was really fun having people from all different states down in Sydney and being able to show them our lifestyle. Having been to Carni last year it’s been awesome seeing all the people I formed friendships with last year and also making strong new relationships." - Sabrina Staub (NSW)
"I only met my 3 billets on carnival and we have quickly become one big family. I’m sure we’ll stay friends for years to come " - Felix Moses (NSW)
This carnival we welcomed two all abilities members to our team of youth leaders, both named Michael. They proved excellent assets to the team – Mikey Sarif shared his thoughts on his experiences leading on Carnival.
"I’ve loved Carnival and I love looking after these kids. It’s been really challenging but also very rewarding. I’ve always wanted to do this but I never got a chance to do it as a kid - it’s kind of like a dream come true."
It’s been a fantastic week for everyone involved in Maccabi Junior Carnival 2016 and a huge thank you must go the way of Carnival manager Justin Shelton and his organising committee. We hope everyone enjoyed their time on Carni and will be back to join us next year in Perth!
Thanks for reading!
By Jake Rosengarten