Over 2,500 people ascended onto Thomson Park on Saturday for a community spirit lifting event. “It just shows that there’s still plenty of life in New Brighton and we’re all still loving living here” said local parent Leanne Young. The sun came out to shine for the event which included a Sport Zone, Bouncy Castles, Face Painting, Free Sausages, Markets, Free Skate Hire, Circus Skills, Puppet Shows and a Wishing Tree in the centre of the park. The tree was instigated by local New Brighton advocate Rebecca May, she invited participants to write their wishes for their community onto a tag and then tie it to the tree in the centre of the park. “We had an overwhelming positive response from everyone”, she said “and the people of the community were really pleased to be finally consulted. We’ll be collating the comments and then presenting them to the community, council and Cera so they can hear the voice of the people”. The most popular comment was the need for a local community aquatic facility, because of the loss of QE2. Some were suggesting Rawhiti Domain would be an ideal location, as it’s already deemed to be recreational grounds, there’s little damage and space to build. Other suggestions included salt water pools, more recreation facilities, and more community halls.
Live performances on the Band Rotunda took place throughout the days from the local Pirate Ukelele Band to the soulful tunes of Restoration and NiuSeiLAh. Sports Clubs and Community Groups has the chance to showcase what they’re already doing in New Brighton and encouraging others to join in. Mitch Alcock from Rawhiti Community Sports Inc was stoked about the number of people who got involved and gave the different sports a go. “Everyone was having so much fun trying different sports, from Softball to Boxing to Judo to Football to Rugby. Our community has been hit hard, but we’re still running great activities and joining a club is one way we’ll continue to build this community” he said. The event was a joint venture between Youth Alive Trust, Rawhiti Community Sports Inc & Christchurch City Council, although over 25 community groups were involved on the day! “We look forward to building on this event, keeping community spirits high and celebrating everything positive that’s still happening in New Brighton, cause we know the road to repair will be long, but we’ll come out of it stronger and Brighter”, said James Ridpath, Youth Alive Trust Team Leader.