Cambridge College enjoys a PowerHouseGames

Luke Cavanaugh and Alex Parton, two second-year undergraduates from Gonville & Caius College (Cambridge University) suggested hosting a college version of our PowerHouseGames to learn how we can roll the model out to other universities.  It all came together on Friday 28th February as 20+ students from the college joined 14 from Castle Special School and 12 from Quilters Junior School at the University Sports Centre.

It was a great success.  Though smaller than some of our previous versions, this helped integrate the teams even more thoroughly, and encouraged some of the SEN students to join in faster than others had done in the past.

The Year 5s from Quilters, an Ofsted “Outstanding” school in Billericay, were fabulous ambassadors, defying their youth to be engaged and engaging.  And rather good at the games.  Michael Wade, their award-winning and inspirational head teacher, was thrilled: “They loved it. It was so good for them to visit the university sports centre and meet the students.  Maybe their horizons will be lifted.”

We played goalball, new age kurling, boccia, walking football, sitting netball and touch rugby.  A big thank you to Hilary Foord, rugby league university captain, who volunteered to run the touch rugby and brought the all important balls to play with.  Further thanks to Catherine, Patrick and Jeremy, stalwart volunteers, who were prepared to get down and play!  Mills & Reeve provided two volunteers, James Edmonds and Johannes Arens, who both coped admirably with being thrown into playing!  And as ever a big thank you to James Powley, Alex Fox and the staff at the Centre for making it happen.  Their excellent idea to remove three of the four curtains, opened up the hall and made it feel as one.

I add our thanks to the college, which by supporting Alex and Luke with a financial contribution enabled us to put the PowerHouseGames on.

Luke summed up his experience:

“It was fantastic getting involved with the Caius PowerhouseGames, both from a personal and a college perspective. Having worried about getting a strong enough turnout from our volunteers, the day saw new friends made within Caius as we were paired up, and experiences shared that genuinely made our volunteers’ weeks. The hall was full of laughter from start to finish, and group chats exploded afterwards with messages telling myself and Alex how fun they found it, how they were so glad that they got out of the library, and asking whether there would be another games. I learnt a lot about myself and how I work with people, as well as about my peers, as the best volunteers weren’t those that I expected them to be. All in all, the day was fantastic, and I hope to involve myself with the Games in the future.”

Everyone received a certificate, were encouraged to take their colourful T-shirt away with them and all had fun.