Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hold on to your hats

Hold on to your hats it was the annual Welington 7's extravaganza over the weekend. 16 teams converge on the windy city (with apologies to readers in Chicago) for two days of action. The 7s is the only sporting event I have been to where there are people watching the crowd rather than the game and where players take photographs of fans. This is largely because pretty much everyone dresses up.

The boys chose a black and white theme and looked pretty cool with a mixture of bought, borrowed and adapted apparel.

Mum and Dad joined in the masked theme but not quite so enthusiastically.

Although there was time for a little romance. (who was that masked man?)

It is astonishing how much effort people in to their costumes. Many come in quite large groups like these 30 or so Elmos. Some of whom must have been baking in the sun in the afternoon.

We thought these self made lego people were excellent

But Richard Branson seemed to be carrying a few extra pounds.

The Irish were there in force, as were the Romans, Egyptians and Smurfs. Many people also go in the strip of the country they are supporting and some even adopt a country for the weekend.

While some go as clones seeking a near identical look, others choose to go as complementary sets. There was a great fruit bowl, a selection of Cadbury bars and variations on these scrabble tiles who together made something. It is interesting these two ways of identifying as a group.

But there are others who just go as individual characters and find their place in the wider crowd. I did like the sight of "Kill Bill" being at the first aid post looking for help from the paramedics in attendance. They needed more of that in the movie.

Val and Ben came too. Val fulfilling a long held dream to get to the 7s and Ben somewhat disappointingly supporting England.

I think our own sporting allegiances are now very clear.

Except when Scotland are playing! (who let's face it need all the support we can muster).

It makes for a colourful spectacle and a great atmosphere.

There is also music, other entertainment and fireworks.

As well as a few spontaneous items - such as the team from Niue doin their haka. (many of the pacific islands have equivalents or versions of the Maori Haka and NZ Maori have several in common use)

So plenty for us all to see and do and an event that has become one of our New Zealand traditions.

We were impressed by this ingenious tidying device made by linking the cardboard squares in a four pack.

And we picked up a few things over the course of the two days which saw costumes being adapted at different points.

Before every match the NZ team have a practice of walking round as a connected group from the warm up area. It provides encouragement and focus before a period of intense activity.

We have just had the first Minty Training for the new Ministry Interns. We have 6 this year which is great. Tim Hodge and Gina Wong led an excelent week with Andy still being out of action. I went up to speak one day and was very impressed by the caliber of folks we have. It is a similar idea to the NZ walk. Connecting and strengthening each other for the opportunity that is coming. The new academic year kicks off here over the next couple of weeks.

We would love to see people as passionate about the gospel on campus as some of those in and around the stadium were fro the 7s.

Back into the routine of life all the boys are loving school. It helps when you can do your homework in conducive surroundings.

Every so often teenage boys can be delightful!

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