By Chloe Reynolds and Emma MacFarland.
For the last six years our school, Helensville Primary, has been competing in the Anchor AIMs Games in Tauranga, an international sporting tournament for intermediate and middle schools. When AIMS was first founded in 2004 it had only 17 schools competing but now, 15 years later, it has grown to have around 320 schools and 800+ students. Of the 22 sports available, our school team of 41 students competed in netball, futsal, rugby sevens, multisport, yachting, indoor bowls and cross country.
All our teams did amazingly, with our only yachter (George Pilkington) winning two gold medals, first in the Year 8 boys and first overall. It was the first time competing in a competition like this for our multi-sporters, who both did exceptionally well, with Harvey Banks coming 24th and Caleb Clark-Smith 41st out of 80 races. It was an exciting race to watch, starting with running and cycling and finishing with kayaking along McLarens Falls lake.
AIMs has brought many new sports to our school, such as futsal. Our girls’ futsal team improved a lot from last year. It had a number of nail-biting games and ended up in the top 14. Competing against 122 teams our netball team finished in the C grade, and won a number of games.
Apart from the sports, the Anchor AIMs games have lots more to offer. On our first night, after our cross country team had competed that morning, we went to the opening ceremony, held at Bay Park Arena. It was filled with inspirational speakers and entertaining dance groups and performers. Valerie Adams, Olympic champion shot putter, spoke alongside Nikita Howarth, paralympic swimmer, and cycler. Every team had a chance to have a free team photo taken at Bayfair shopping centre. The results were pretty wicked!
Overall AIMS was an amazing experience we will never forget, all our year sevens can’t wait to go back next year. A massive shout out to all the parents and coaches that made our trip possible and to Mrs Stokes for all the hard work she put in organising our incredible time away.