Games a great experience
I, like probably a lot of other people, hadn’t heard of the AIMS Games. At 10,800 competitors from age 11-13, you could call it the Olympic Games for kids.
Held in Tauranga every year, it began in 2004 and has been growing ever since with a wide range of sports and many international competitors from far and wide.
When my teacher asked the class if anyone wanted to compete, I decided I wanted to give it a go. I had just started playing squash so entered myself for this. It wasn’t until I arrived in Tauranga I realised it was such a huge event, there were welcoming signs all over the city, the traffic was crazy and there were thousands of kids everywhere.
Myself and Pia Rogers were the only two students representing Whangamata Area School this year. Pia competed in gymnastics. Pia represented NZ last year in the World Aerobics Champs, so she is a highly experienced athlete.
I played five games in total throughout the week. I was quite nervous before my first game as the competition was fierce with an U13 World Champion playing. In my first game I was pretty excited to take my opponent to the fifth set before narrowly losing 11-9. It calmed my nerves for the rest of the competition. Out of five games I managed to win two and take another to the fifth before going down. I was pleased to win my last game.
I had the most awesome experience at the AIMS Games because of its really fun vibe and how well it is run. It was also great to come up against such a high level of competition. If any 11 to 13-year-old is interested in sport they should definitely give it a go.
Hunter Ussher gave squash a go at the AIMS Games.