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Mystery, Creativity, Rubber Duckies, And Skating? It’s All Part Of Stratford’s Youth Week Vibe!

Stratford District Youth Council (SDYC) has been checking the rubber duckies for water tightness and getting the crime scene tape ready, as youth councillors help to organise three big Youth Week events for teenagers and young adults aged from 12 to 24 years old.

SDYC Co-chair Justin Salisbury says, “The theme of this year’s national Youth Week is ‘We may not have it all together, but together we have it all’. I think lots of young people can relate to that first bit, and probably lots of adults too,” he laughs.

“The important part is encouraging young people to come together. Just chill out, talk to each other, and work things out together when we need to. Because that’s part of how we can look after our mental health, and where we get our strength and energy from. It’s our superpower. So, we really wanted Youth Week events that got everyone up and having fun together.”

Murder Mystery Night, for youth aged from 12 to 18 years old, is first up during Youth Week from 4.30pm to 6pm on Thursday 23 May at the Stratford Library and Visitor Information Centre. This free evening promises an intriguing mix of youth-friendly crime, spot prizes, detective work, and snacks.

Badge Battle, part of Murder Mystery Night, will have participants harnessing their creativity to interpret Youth Week’s theme visually in badge form. Justin says, “The library team has been polishing their badge maker. Having the best badge will result in a $50 Prezzy Card, but everyone gets to take their badge away and wear it with pride and a sense of accomplishment.”

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Detectives and badge creators need to register for the event at Badge Battle entry forms are available from the library or online at, and designs should be completed before the event.

SDYC On the Bus is heading to New Plymouth for pizza and inline skating at the local Roller Sports Club’s international-sized indoor skating stadium. The bus leaves at 5.15pm on Friday 24 May from the Stratford War Memorial carpark and returns at 9.30pm. This event costs $5 per person with bookings through Skate hire is included in the cost. Permission forms for caregivers will be emailed out for the under-18s.

Pool Party Showdown, at Wai o Rua – Stratford Aquatic Centre, will finish off Youth Week on Sunday 26 May from 1pm to 4pm. The free event will feature a sausage sizzle, water volleyball, and the highly anticipated rubber duckie and inflatable relay. This fun challenge will see teams push their duckie through a course only using the power of the waves they create, as well as completing a mega-inflatable obstacle course. Prizes are up for grabs for the winning teams, and everyone will have the chance to enjoy a free swim.

Team registration for the Pool Party Showdown is from 12pm to 12.50pm at Wai o Rua on the day. Teams are made up of five people. Smaller groups and people floating solo will be put into teams by event organisers during registration. Teams can enter one or both events.

“Make a team with your friends, or even better, your frenemies. If you’re by yourself or you don’t have a full team, come to registration and we’ll put a squad together for you,” says Justin.

Youth Week runs from 20 to 26 May 2024. During this time, young people from all over the country will host events to celebrate the talent, energy, and contribution of Aotearoa’s youth.

Information about Stratford’s Youth Week events is available at

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