The Blackburn Family Tournament

Whitehorse News - October 2021

When Melbourne was hit with yet another lockdown, Whitehorse resident Dawn Maxa had an idea to bring the community together – in a COVID-safe way, of course!

This idea was the Blackburn Family Tournament – a fun, free weekend of bakeoffs, fancy-dress bike races, drawing activities and more.

“Parents and families were aware of how incredibly difficult and exhausting it is during lockdown to stay positive for ourselves, let alone for our kids,” said Dawn.

“We wanted to do something to create a ripple of joy amongst families and help our community find moments of fun and connection during lockdown.”

What started as a small collaboration between a few families from Blackburn has evolved into a weekly community event with over 150 families getting involved.

“Interest in the tournament grew and we knew we wanted to share the challenges with the wider community,” said Dawn.

“It was important to us that we shared this safely, respecting privacy and without jeopardising the intimacy of the original community challenge group.”

The tournament consists of various family challenges that are compliant with COVID restrictions to be completed over the course of a weekend. Points are awarded for each entry and prizes can be won at the end of the weekend. Households can participate in the following challenges:

  • Bike time trial test from Blackburn Station to Nunawading Station in dress up
  • The cracker cookie bake-off – invent a cookie and bake it
  • The Academy Award – re-enactment of your favourite movie scene
  • The Hutt – build a hut, shack or fort out of things lying around your house or garden
  • The lake lap – walk a lap of Blackburn lake in fancy dress. Time it. Count how many smiles you receive
  • The drawing challenge – families could pick from four crazy themes

“The challenges were a welcome distraction from COVID news and gave families something to plan for and look forward to on the weekend,” said Dawn.

“It not only put a smile on participants’ faces, but also on the faces of other members of our community as they witnessed the Lion, Tin-man and scarecrow walk around the lake singing songs from The Wizard of Oz. Magic.”

To get involved, follow @thefamilytournament