After days of being cooped up within four walls and exhausting their brains, you can’t blame participants from wanting to spend a day outdoors and getting physical. We suggest a variety of unique activities designed to bring colleagues closer through fun and sports. Let the games begin.
Name of the game: SegLympics
Where is it? Australia – either at the Novotel Pacific Resort in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales or at the Radisson Resort Gold Coast in Queensland. However, it can be held virtually anywhere – on a beach, in a park, holiday resort or someone’s backyard – as long as there is a flat area about 20 metres wide by 25 metres long.
What makes it special? Not many people have the opportunity to ride a Segway, a self-balancing, scooter-like device with two wheels. When you are riding one while playing a series of unique games, the experience becomes extraordinary. Play Segway Soccer with a one-metre-diameter soccer ball and manoeuvre it towards the goal. Or there’s the Clumsy Waiter, where you balance a tray full of cups of water while navigating an obstacle course.
Australian companies such as Southern Cross Media, Focus and Bluebottles Brasserie have arranged for a SegLympics as a way of improving team communication skills and teaching their staff through experiental learning. A session typically lasts for two hours; however, if you incorporate SegLympics with other activities such as Foosball, Laser Clay or Survivor challenges, the whole experience can be shorter or longer depending on the group’s size and requirements.
Group size: Highly scalable – groups can be as small as 10 people or 100 strong.
Name of the game: Water Tower
Where is it? Hong Kong Disneyland Resort has large landscaped outdoor areas spread across 126 hectares that can be used to stage sports and games for corporate groups. Among the most popular venues are West Lawn, beside the Victorian-themed Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, and the Dreamers Garden outside the conference centre. Some games can be played indoors.
What makes it special? Games are given the Disney touch. The Water Tower game requires players to perform the seemingly easy task of filling the inside of a tower with water in order to float the ball inside and remove it. The catch is that the tower is riddled with holes and each team member is encouraged to help minimise the water leaks to get the task done.
Other Disney games used as icebreakers during event programmes involve the use of oversized objects such as an enormous volleyball and giant jigsaw puzzles to increase the difficulty factor. Capitalising on its Hollywood connections, the events team at the resort has also developed movie-inspired games that will tickle the fancy of cinephiles in the group.
Group size: 20 to 200 people.
Name of the game: Surf Lessons
Where is it? In Fiji, where the locals – women included – have been enjoying the sport since the early 1900s. Blessed by ideal wind patterns and tidal currents that create perfect reef break waves, the islands are visited by world-class surfers who cannot get enough of these favourable conditions. Lessons are usually conducted around the breathtaking Coral Coast. International competitions such as the Globe Pros, Roxy Fiji Pros and Red Bull events are regularly held here.
What makes it special? According to Ian Muller, a local surfing pioneer and owner of Fiji Surf, which runs a school, operates tours and sells equipment: “Surfing is a great way to test someone’s skill by taking them out of their comfort zone. It helps builds character and self confidence.” In addition, the Fiji Surf staff also impart their personal insights to raise customer awareness of the ocean’s role in the balance of nature. “We emphasise respect for it, while enjoying use of Fiji’s amazing waterways,” says Muller.
Group size: Groups from six people or more can be accommodated, and rates include transfers to and from the beach, lessons with long boards, equipment, bottled water and snacks and instructors. Tutorials last for about two hours. All skill levels are catered for.
Name of the game: Highland Games
Where is it? Staged in the UK, where the destination management and event design company Wedgewood, which offers these Scottish influenced games, is based. A hotel with spacious grounds is a must to get the most out of the experience.
What makes it special? Deeply rooted in Scottish culture, the diversions – featuring such pithily named events as Tug O’War, Tossing the Caber, Weight Over the High Bar, Putting the Stane, Tossing the Hammer, Wellie Hurling and Farmer’s Dash obstacle course – involve serious physical exertion. Participants can use kilts if they are game, along with a T-shirt sporting their company logo – the end result is usually much laughter. Lighter activities are also offered, such as learning to play the bagpipes and highland dancing. A falconry display, followed by lunch, is a great way to end the session, though if the group wants more, the schedule can be stretched into the afternoon.
Ville-Aleksi Mineur, senior account director of Wedgewood Britain, says banks as well as insurance and automobile companies have been enthusiastic customers, usually tacking on the games at the tail end of several days of conferences. “They want to do more relaxed things.”
Group size: Wedgewood advises having at least 10 or 12 players who will be divided into two teams. However, it has also organised games for over 300 participants, although that took meticulous planning to achieve all the activities within a given time frame.
RACING TO WIN
Name of the game: Go Karting
Where is it? Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Victoria, Australia
What makes it special? The facility is home to massive motor racing events every year, including the MotoGP that is watched in 200 countries by a TV audience of 350 million. Recharge your group with an invigorating go-kart competition on the 720-metre-long track,
which is based on a scale replica of the world-famous Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Each turn in the track presents a unique challenge but drivers are rewarded with spectacular ocean views as they reach the southern loop.
A maximum of 15 to 20 drivers are allowed on the track at any given time. A typical package for a group of 30 offers each team of drivers two 10-minute qualifying sessions and one 10-minute final session. At the end of the session, all drivers receive an individual printout of their lap times.
As an add-on to the programme, companies can elect to include a guided circuit tour and exclusive access to off-limits areas such as the Control Tower, the Media Centre, Pit Lane, Pit Roof and the MotoGP sound simulation in the Start/Finish Overpass. Also, each member of your group gets to stand on the winner’s podium with a bottle of Champagne in hand for the requisite photo opportunity. The facility is a versatile venue with a range of meeting, conference and exhibition spaces – both indoor and outdoor – to choose from.
Group size: Each session can take a maximum of 20 drivers.
TO THE MANOR BORN
Name of the game: Country Sports
Where is it? These are held in the UK, where team-building specialist Wedgewood is based. The ideal setting for these leisure pursuits is a good manor house hotel with sprawling lawns.
What makes it special? Traditional pastimes of the English gentry are on show – clay pigeon shooting, archery and duck herding, among other idiosyncratic activities. Half-day or whole-day sessions can be arranged, with delicious high tea ending the exercise on a sweet note.
Group size: 10 to 12 participants works best, divided into two competing teams. But larger groups pose no problem for Wedgewood staff, who are used to dealing with sizeable numbers.