Strong in Every Way Field Day Is Back
Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Janet Mann
Calling all community members: Registration is open for this year’s Strong in Every Way Field Day (SiEW). Last summer, the Office of Special Projects for Zionsville Community Schools (ZCS) introduced this event for the entire community. The SiEW Field Day will be held again this year at the Zionsville Community High School Campus, St. Vincent Stadium and Aquatic Center on Saturday, August 3, 2019.
The planning committee, consisting of several ZCS school and community volunteers, are planning for another epic event leading up to the start of a brand-new school year. What better way to bring kids (ages five and up) together with peers, parents and other adults in their community than a morning filled with physical activities and friendly competition, completely geared at having fun?
The SiEW Field Day will be focused on “building webs of support within the community, promoting wellness and developing community pride.”
Lisa Brown, aquatics director and one of the SiEW Field Day planning committee members, shared the goals of this inclusive event and what participants can expect to experience this year.
“Strong in Every Way is comprised of three domains: developing connections, developing assets and resources and developing cultural understanding,” Brown explained. “Last year, we put together a community event that would cover all three of those domains and help bring the community together.”
Brown and her dedicated committee members all emphasized that SiEW Field Day is not designed to raise funds. Its primary objective is to bring people from the community together before the start of a new school year, create teams and have some unrehearsed fun with people who make up the Zionsville community, while learning that mistakes and goof-ups are all part of growing stronger, being human and are part of our journeys to success.
“We have teams comprised of family members, co-workers, neighbors, church groups, sports groups, all kinds of teams,” Brown said. “The teams are required to be made up of children and adults, and we prefer the teams be made of 10 people or more. We will divide the [bigger] teams if we need to so that we don’t have a team of 45 people versus a team of 10.”
Modeling sportsmanship is one of the critical components behind the purpose of the SiEW Field Day event. In addition to reinforcing gracious winner or gracious loser behaviors, the activities are key to building empathy and teamwork among all participants of all ages.
“This event really evens out the playing field,” Brown stated. “We as parents and our children are all on the same team in life. We’re all humans. We all do the same things. We all make mistakes. We all fall, but then we get up and we keep going. And we help each other.”
This year’s cultural focus will be on introducing participants to a gaga pit. Gaga originated in Israel and is a form of dodgeball that is played in a gaga pit. The game can be played with teams or with one-on-one matches.
Brown added, “The gaga pit is not necessarily an event but will be set up in the Kid Zone, and the kids can play in between events or if they need some downtime—they can play off to the side.”
The morning schedule will kick off at 8:30 a.m. with DanceFit by Erin in the St. Vincent Stadium, followed by the 9:00 a.m. competitions that begin with 30-minute rotations with 15-minute transition times: kickball, cornhole, four square, track relays, tug of war and inner tube relays in the pool. The program concludes with a 12:30 p.m. awards ceremony at the pool.
There will be a concession stand with healthy snacks for purchase, as well as a kids/safety zone provided for downtime. Volunteers are needed and are encouraged to be team members, so if you have a member of your team who would prefer not to engage in a particular activity or needs a break and would like to volunteer during the event, that team will earn 10 points for each volunteer. This year, each team is asked to bring donations for the Zionsville Food Pantry as our service project.
Teams will be required to have a combination of children and adults this year. Teams will compete within a division of teams of similar size. Divisions are organized according to the number and size of teams entering the challenge.
Select sponsorship opportunities are available. Interested parties should contact Lisa Brown at [email protected].
Registration is well underway, so be sure to register at programs.zionsvilleeaglerec.com and click on the SiEW Field Day tab in the left column. There is a $10 per participant fee that pays for the T-shirt. Everybody gets a T-shirt if you register before July 25.