This year Avondale brought eight different groups to Polyfest - Thai, Indian, Sri Lankan, Japanese and Korean on the Diversity Stage, and Samoan, Tongan and Cook Islands on the competetive stages. However, instead of performing to the usual massive crowds, this year, students performed to cameras as the event was livestreamed via the festival's website.
"The lead up to Polyfest this year has been an interesting one!," says Avondale College Deputy Principal, Brenda McNaughton.
"Availability for sign-ups, meetings, initial practices looked very different in 2022 than in previous years. Students didn’t know who might suddenly need to isolate and so key people who would normally drive groups’ momentum might not be able to do so – through no fault of their own. Each group needed every member to see themselves as leaders so that as students came back from isolation, they could work with them during morning tea, lunch breaks and before practices started, to get them up to speed with the rest of the group. Taking the practice spaces outdoors so students could sing safely was also a challenge and wearing masks during practices, despite the heat, to keep each other safe was new for 2022."
"Our students have risen superbly to these challenges. For this year, performing at Polyfest means ‘normal’ is possible. This is a boon after so much of students’ lives have been cancelled or put on hold because it is too hard in the current climate. If we work hard together, ‘normal’ is possible."
From the minute our students stepped onto the stages at Polyfest last week, they performed with pride and passion. Undeterred by Thursday's rain, interrupted practices or even a global pandemic, our students displayed their HEART values along with their pride in their culture through performance.
Kohia ngā Taikākā, Avondale!
Tongan Group - 1st Lakalaka, 1st Sōkē
Samoan Group - 2nd Overall (coed), 1st uniform, 1st equal Taualuga, 2nd Entrance, 2nd Maulu'ulu, 2nd Sasa, 2ndPese o le Aso, 2nd Exit, 2nd Fuataimi - Daniell Faavaoga (Y11), 3rd Taupou - Shalisa Teofilo (Y13)
Indian Group -1st Asian Continent, 2nd Interpretation of Theme, 3rd Choreography, 2nd Overall
Sri Lankan Group - 3rd Interpretation of Theme, 3rd Asian Continent
Cook Island Group - 2nd (Non-competitive division)
Cook Island – Aja-Leigh Samuel-Numa 2nd (Year 9)
Niuean – Thurston Manukuo 3rd (Senior Boys)
Niuean – Nevlynn Pavihi 1st (Year 9 Girls) and 1st (All Girls Y9-13)
Samoan Stage – Miller Fa’amausili 3rd (Year 10)
Tongan Stage – Visitasio Metui 1st (Year 11)
Avondale College was the focus of some media attention as Polyfest got underway last week! Check out some of the stories here: