Take a drive around Greenwich and you will see flags of all different colours proudly being displayed on fences, balconies, garages and possibly even a flagpole. Every 4 years, the Greenwich community gets together for their very own version of the Olympic Games. The big difference to the Olympic Games is that the Greenwich Village Games involve a series of sporting, skill and theatrical contests with eight competing teams. Unless Andrew Lloyd Webber is now a member of the IOC it is highly unlikely that the Tokyo Olympic Games will include a musical review. The Greenwich Village Games finishes their games with a musical review that makes an Andre Rieu concert look like an amateur event.
The Greenwich Village Games was conceived in 1988 through the vision of one man, a local resident, Tom Lawson. It was Australia’s bicentennial year and the community was looking to do something to commemorate and celebrate this milestone. Tom, originally from Scotland, was inspired by the Pentathlon in the Scottish Highlands.
Eight teams were formed and named, loosely around resident’s professions; ages and genders were mixed, and a variety of sporting disciplines endorsed. Since 1988, the Greenwich Village Games have been held every 4 years. There have been some changes to the team names, colours and sports, but the community spirit, competitiveness on the field and stage and the Greenwich comradeship remain the same.
Fascinating Facts and Figures
Here are some fascinating facts about the Greenwich Village Games:
- In 2016, the 7th Greenwich Village Games are being held on 2 – 4 December 2016.
- The Games will commence with golf on Friday night 2nd December, then continue through Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th, including the famous Revue Performances on Saturday night.
- The eight teams are: the Anarchists (pink), Builders (blue), Commerce (black), Engineers (red), Governators (green), Heroes (purple), Natives (orange), Tribe (light blue).
- There are 25 events, including tug of war, caber toss, gumboot throw, captain ball, 3-legged relay, canoe relay, tennis ball throw, swim relay and puzzler. Each event is worth equal points. The winning team is announced at the end of all of the events.
- Each event requires teams to have a team with equal male and females and a broad range of ages (from 6 to 60+)
- In 2016, 1,684 athletes have registered for the Greenwich Village Games. This is equivalent to over 30% of Greenwich’s population (2011 ABS Census data – because who could rely on the 2016 Census Data!!)
- The youngest athlete is 2 years old, and the oldest is 81 years old.
- 100 athletes are returning former residents of Greenwich, 100 athletes are part of the Greenwich community (eg, work or attend school in Greenwich), the remainder are Greenwich residents.
- 50% of all athletes registered are new to the Greenwich Village Games – which is why this is the largest Games ever (and at the end of the event we are sure that Juan Antonio Samaranch will make a cameo appearance and call pronounce them the best games ever.
- 85 kids will compete in the Microgames, which is for ages 2-6 years and includes running races, obstacle relays, water races, wheelbarrow races (with parents), bubbles and prizes.
- Unfortunately, new, general registrations from members of the public for the Games have now closed as Team Captains have filled all available event places.
- The Revue performance is Saturday 2 December from 6 pm. There is a separate Revue Performance Prize. All members of the public are welcome to come down to Bob Campbell Oval (bottom of St Vincent’s Rd, Greenwich) from around 6pm with picnic blankets and chairs. Bring your friends to share in the fun, enjoy the show and savour the variety of delicious food stall vendors on the night.
- Three venues: Bob Campbell Oval, Greenwich (majority of events), Lane Cove Swimming Pool (swimming relay), Lane Cove Golf Club (golf) will be used.
- There is a free Budget shuttle bus doing a circuit around Greenwich to pick up and drop people off over the weekend, courtesy of Budget Artarmon. For more details and times for the route – check out the flyer and map:
Members of the public are encouraged to come and watch the Games and cheer on your neighbours or friends. There will be some great food on offer during the games. Here are some of the options:
Bar Coco Coffee & Gelato
Bern the Chef (another ITC community business supporter)
Greenwich Public School P & C BBQ
Greenwich Village Espresso Bar
Urban Pasta Food Truck
Roll of Honour
Previous winners of the Greenwich Village Games:
1988 – Engineers
1992 – Builders
1996 – Anarchists
2000 – Anarchists
2004 – Builders
2008 – Builders
2012 – Builders
A community event like this could not take place without fabulous supporters. A big shout out to the following supporters.
Lane Cove Council
Budget Car Rental Artarmon
Bunnings Warehouse Artarmon
Fitness Revelation (who are also local business supporters of In the Cove and have done an amazing job at fundraising this year for the Black Dog Institute – read more here)
River Road Tennis Centre
Tennis World North Ryde
Tennis World Chatswood
Lane Cove Scrabble Club
Website: Greenwich Games
Facebook: Greenwich Games
Instagram: Greenwich Games
Twitter: Greenwich Games
Make sure you use the Hastag #greenwichgames (also if you want to let ITC know about your sporting prowess – just tag us in @inthecove or #inthecove)
Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at [email protected]
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