Fun, fitness and fellowship at annual LIFTED Sports Day

By Mary Brazell, 26 November 2018
'The A-Team' from St Aidan's Parish, Rooty Hill, with the LIFTED Sports Day Trophy. Image: Diocese of Parramatta

 

First-time competitors ‘The A-Team’ from St Aidan’s Parish, Rooty Hill have been named champions of Catholic Youth Parramatta’s 2018 LIFTED Sports Day.

On Sunday, November 25, over 400 young people from 16 parishes across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains gathered at Parramatta Marist High School, Westmead.

The 16 teams competed in a round-robin tournament in four different sports – touch football, soccer, basketball and volleyball.

‘Veteran’ parishes of the LIFTED Sport Day, including Christ the King Parish, North Rocks, St John Vianney’s Parish, Doonside, and Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, St Marys, were joined by fresh faces in St Bernadette’s Parish, Dundas Valley, St Margaret Mary’s Parish, Merrylands and St Aidan’s.

The LIFTED Sports Day, formally known as the Nepean Deanery Sports Day, evolved from a post-World Youth Day Sydney initiative in 2009, and will be celebrating 10 years next year.

In what came down to the last round, St Aidan’s were declared winners by just two points from joint second-placed St Anthony of Padua Parish, Toongabbie, and Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Rouse Hill.

The team from Our Lady of the Angels were also awarded the Holy Spirit Plate, which is given to the team the volunteer referees believe played “well, fairly and in the spirit of the game”.

VIEW: Images from the 2018 LIFTED Sports Day below or click here

2018 Lifted Sports Day (7 of 187)

‘The A-Team’ co-captains Carmel and Kevin, who spoke after the trophy ceremony, praised the effort of their team. “We’ve been looking forward to this day for a really long time, because it’s our first time in the competition”, Carmel said.

“We had 23 members in our squad, all of them had a range of talents,” Kevin said.

Carmel believes that the LIFTED Sports Day will be a boost for the parish community. “One of the things that we’ve been struggling with is getting more boys involved in our youth group, but I think that if we’ve built a reputation for being the sporting champions, I think that’s a huge drawcard.”

“It’s a good thing to get the youth of Rooty Hill back into the church”, Kevin added.

As well as young people, several religious were active participants in the LIFTED Sports Day, like Fr Benedict MacKenzie FSF from St Bernadette’s Parish, Dundas Valley.

“I see the benefit of sport for building a balance in life, and for breaking down walls as well”, Fr Benedict said.

“When we developed our own youth group at St Bernadette’s, I thought it would be a wonderful occasion for the youngsters to meet some other like-minded young Catholics and strengthen their faith, and also develop some friends in a fun environment.

“It’s a good occasion to foster friendships that you wouldn’t find in other circumstances, and you have youngsters who are interested in sport who might introduce them to faith as well.

“It’s a wonderful gift from the Lord.”

VIEW: Images from the 2018 LIFTED Sports Day below or click here

2018 LIFTED Sports Day

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