As the final applause resounded around Leschenault Leisure Centre for the trophy winners of SportsFest 2019, little did anyone know that the sports competition would be hanging up its boots the following year while the world struggled through a pandemic.
Standing in the gap created by the physical absence of the games in 2020 was SportsFest 2.0, an online version that saw competitors submitting videos of themselves attempting various challenges such as three-point basketball shots and claiming the most kilometres cycled in a week. As restrictions eased and word circulated that SportsFest would run again in 2021, it became clear just how valued the connections, competition and ethos of SportsFest are for young adults in our family of churches. Baptist Churches Western Australia Next Generations Pastor, Ed Devine spoke of the great response to the news, with 26 teams signed up.
“The combination of over 1,000 young people gathered from around Western Australia, the various sports which cater for all interests and levels, and the space to invite a friend to hear about the life-giving message of Jesus have proven to stand the test of time and popularity,” Ed said.
The organising team is in full swing, ensuring the event operates in a way that meets government regulations and is COVID-safe.
Ed shared his gratitude for Keith Campbell, Terry Hicks, Alan Holt, Jeff Kemp and the team at Morley Baptist Church for their significant input alongside Ben Jefferies, who started as the Baptist Churches Western Australia Events Coordinator in July.
The theme for SportsFest 2021 is ‘Unshakeable Hope’, and the Master of Ceremonies will be Pastor Ed Devine.
“We want to acknowledge that people have had a tough couple of years which has affected health, work and life plans,” Ed said.
“While we own the reality of the struggle, we also ask the question, ‘where do we find an unshakeable hope?’”
“We believe that the answer lies in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
This message will be expressed at the Saturday Night Live service through multi-media, dance and music. Those gathered will also hear from two speakers, Pastor Cung Lal from Myanmar Baptist Church Perth and Kathy Sinclair, Church Relationship Manager at Baptist World Aid Australia. Cung shared his perspective on the theme.
“I have realised that it doesn’t matter which country you come from or whether you are rich or poor; without the unshakeable hope of Jesus in our lives we are subject to hopelessness in this fragile world – I look forward to offering the living hope of Jesus to people.”
For more information or to register, visit sportsfest.org.au