Youth, fun and opportunities will come together at an annual festival.

Rotorua Youth Festival organiser Sasho Stosic says there is plenty going on as part of this year's festival.

The event will include fun activities through rugby league, Māori and Tahitian games, basketball and crossfit.

There will also be an obstacle course rangatahi can take on, which is being run by the Western Heights Community Association and Rotorua Youth Centre, and Manaaki Ora Trust is doing a skateboard competition.

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There will be culture and education activities, including whakairo (carving), raranga (weaving), mau rākau (weapons) and poi, along with a number of providers sharing information about career opportunities and health and well-being.

Sasho says this year's festival has about 24 providers involved to help rangatahi navigate these areas, compared to last year's number of 14.

The day will have a range of entertainment, including kapa haka and live music. There will also be a range of food stalls and a waterslide.

"We are still finalising a few details, but as the festival grows there is definitely more work to be done."

Sasho says there will be a number of opportunities for rangatahi to network and build connections within the community.

"This year the focus has been about providing things full of depth and substance for rangatahi."

Youth and their family enjoying time together at last year's Rotorua Youth Festival. Photo / Caleb Walsh
Youth and their family enjoying time together at last year's Rotorua Youth Festival. Photo / Caleb Walsh

He says the purpose of the Rotorua Youth Festival - now in its second year - stems back to community conversation around opening up youth to opportunities within sport, which ended up branching out to include health, education and social wellbeing opportunities.

Sasho says there are three key values within Māori culture which are also key values for the festival.

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These are Whanaungatanga - being connected and a sense of belonging; Manaakitanga - supporting each other; and Rangatiratanga - which in the context of the festival is all about having confidence and courage within yourself as individuals to step out in a positive direction each and every day.

He encourages the community to go along and get involved because it is going to be a heap of fun.

"There are so many things going on in one place and there will be something for everyone, whether you just want to come for kai with whanau, watch a bit of sport and hang out at the park, or try a sport and find out what opportunities are out there.

"It's all in one location and that's the great thing about it."

Sasho says the support from local organisations, groups and volunteers has been phenomenal, and that the festival organisers were grateful for this support.

"It's obviously something people want to be part of."

Parking is available through Vaughan Rd, as Te Ngae Rd parking will be blocked.

The details
- What: Rotorua Youth Festival 2020
- When: Saturday, March 14, 10am to 7.30pm
- Where: Puketawhero Park
- Admission: Free