Opportunity to try different sports

Stella Brown (4), of Brighton, plays on an inflatable slide.
Stella Brown (4), of Brighton, plays on an inflatable slide.
Emily Walton (7), of Abbotsford, has her face painted.
Emily Walton (7), of Abbotsford, has her face painted.
Siblings Cooper (2) and Sam McCook (7), of North East Valley, play with an inflatable ball....
Siblings Cooper (2) and Sam McCook (7), of North East Valley, play with an inflatable ball. Cooper is a Heart Kid and celebrated his birthday on Friday.
Alyssa Evans (10), of Dunedin, has her eyes on the hoop while playing basketball.
Alyssa Evans (10), of Dunedin, has her eyes on the hoop while playing basketball.

Children were given a taste of basketball, cricket, dance and playball during Heart Kids Otago’s Sports Fest on Saturday.

The event was held at the Edgar Centre, where there were also bouncy castles and face painting.

The festival doubled as the Heart Kids Otago Christmas party, so there was a visit from Santa.

Heart Kids regional family support co-ordinator Marlene Du Toit-Parks said the festival was planned for October, but had to be postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The aim was to promote physical activity and give children an opportunity to try a range of sports with professionals.

"And then I thought why not try to involve the whole community?

"I think all children should be exposed to all different kinds of sports," Ms Du Toit-Parks said.

Sports organisations were very generous with their time.

Heart Kids aims to host a Christmas party each year for Otago families with children who have congenital heart defects.

It allows people to meet others who are in similar situations and support each other.

"Some families go through a really tough time and I think it’s nice they can come together and have somewhere to play.

"I think all the kids had lots of fun."

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