Almost 200 people were brought together at a spectacular event organised by Filipino Community Association, a partner organisation of Exeter Communities Together. The Sports Fest was Filipino Community Association’s flagship event for the year, which saw members of Devon’s Filipino community competing in a wide range of sports activities including basketball, volleyball, table tennis, chess, badminton and more.

The Sports Fest was held on Saturday 17th August at ISCA Academy in Topsham, Exeter and was one of the most anticipated events of summer 2019 for Exeter Communities Together, which – in partnership with seven grass roots community organisations – is running a large programme of community/social activities and events. There was emphasis on the Sports Fest to not just enjoy participating and watching competitive sports, but also to help improve mental and physical health, and reduce isolation.

The sports hall was already buzzing with people of all ages by 9.30am, and formal proceedings kicked off at 10.00am. There was singing of the national anthem in Tagabo, followed by singing of the British national anthem, a prayer led by a religious leader, followed with a short address by Arlene Lewis – the principal event organiser, community lead for Filipino Community Association and representative on the Exeter Communities Together partnership. Faith Stafford, Exeter Communities Together’s Project Manager, gave a short speech about the project and involvement of the Filipino community.

Young people were at centre of the community and fully involved in the organisation of the Sports Fest, not just in taking part in the games. There was a large team of people, all overseeing the organisation and the management of the food as well as the games – it was impressive to see an event so well led by the community. People came from all over Devon including Plymouth and Torquay.

The catering was very impressive with large metal food warmers filled with spaghetti and different noodles, plus fruit, cakes, puddings and large cool boxes willed with sandwiches. Urns provided hot drinks throughout the day, and the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, with people wanting to talk to one another. Medals and trophies were awarded to these that did well in the competitive games. Overall, this was a really lovely family and community event for our calendar.

A selection of videos from the Sports Fest are below.