Last night I was very fortunate to part of the official media contingent photographing the opening ceremony of the International Children’s Games (ICG) being held right here in Lake Macquarie Newcastle NSW, along with many of my awesome Sundance mates – we are getting quite a reputation 🙂
The ICG is the largest multi ‐ sport youth games in the world and a member of the International Olympic Committee. Approximately 1500 athletes between 12 and 15 years of age, and their coaches are participating in this prestigious event. It is the first time the games have been held “down under” and presented an poor for 13 new Australian cities to participate.
Before the official proceedings began, my great mate Leigh and I headed back stage to capture the athletes and teams, you certainly didn’t have to work to hard to get these guys lined up for a photo, they were loving it!
Even the local boys in blue couldn’t get away without a few photos
The opening ceremony featured an Olympic style athletes welcome parade and the teams had a ball parading their way down the stage and to their seats. You might think that they would be nervous about walking out on a stage in front of thousands of people – definitely not they were in their element!
All the athletes were having a ball watching the other athletes parade out.
Even as the rain started to come down as the athletes parade was finishing up it didn’t stop them enjoying the ceremony – ponchos at the ready and everyone was good again.
The performances included a beautiful welcome to country by local indigenous students, the national anthem, raising of the national flag and games flag and some great singing and dancing.
There was a whole host of other performers that had been practicing their little behinds off for a very long time, so it was really sad to have the heavens open up before the ceremony was finished meaning that some of them didn’t get to perform – absolutely devastating for them.
I completely respect the decision made by the organisers because let me tell you it was absolutely bucketing down with lightning all around us and the safety of the athletes, performers, crew and volunteers had to be put first. That said, the spirit and determination of the athletes and performers to keep pushing through in torrential conditions until the organisers really had no choice but to halt proceedings, was totally first class!
With the rain cutting the performances short it was time to light the games cauldron.
I also have to give kudos to the special surprise guest performers Sheppard who waited out the worst of the rain and still blew the roof off (if there was a roof to have blown off!), much to absolute delight of the screaming fans jammed up around the stage just hoping to get close, a few got closer then they could have imagined 🙂