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"Volunteers don't necessarily have the time; they just have the heart."

- Elizabeth Andrew

It is 6am on August 6th and the sun is rising on the first day of our 2022 Mount Ousley Interclub weekend. Thoughts are racing between balloons, judge's parking, seating, numbers, entry wristbands, and remembering to pack our own leotards and performance wear. The event we have met & planned for over the last 24 months, is finally here, a chance to dust off our banners and hold our very own interclub after a 17 year hiatus.

What is the expectation? In simple terms, to host an event for our wider Physie community who travel far and wide to enjoy a weekend of fun Physie competition. A chance to slip on our leotards and performance wear to take the floor after two years of interclub cancellations. An opportunity to make sure our visiting clubs feel a warm welcome, experience a well-structured event, and leave happy and well fed. Sounds simple right? No, simple is not the right word, perhaps intense, exhausting and exhilarating are better suited.

Leading into the weekend we had attracted 545 competitors. All set to travel to the beautiful south coast of Wollongong. Guest clubs and their competitors had accommodation booked and dinner reservations, resulting in the prospect of thousands of dollars of potential investment into Wollongong businesses. Who was to know that these competitors would bring along in excess of 600 supporting spectators? As you can imagine, it takes an incredible amount of effort from our beloved teachers and our volunteers (led by the club's Events Team) to organise the weekend and cater for everyone. It was a huge weekend, not unexpected, but huge all the same and thankfully very successful due to absolute dedication from these volunteers.

We came together and were reminded of what it means to be part of something larger than yourself.

On the exterior, we are united by our uniform; a sea of black, white and gold. Internally, we are driven by a sense of belonging, friendship, tradition, pride - that shines from under the surface. We have since been inundated with feedback from our guest clubs on how wonderful the weekend ran - from its organisation, strength of competition and the kindness and accommodating nature of Mount Ousley as a host club.

"Congratulations MtO team, on a very successful interclub. We feel honoured to have been part of a fabulous weekend of watching beautiful Physie in such a well organised, fun and friendly environment. On behalf of everyone at our club. THANK YOU!"

As the sun sets behind the Illawarra escarpment on day two, we stack chairs, peel tape from the floor, pop balloons and roll away banners. Exhaustion is an understatement, but nothing compares to the feeling of being connected to one another. Existing friendships are strengthened, new ones developed and there is a vibe in the air more electric than we have felt in years.

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." - Gandhi

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