Group aims to develop social links

South Alive administration and finance manager Claire McDonagh and Your Corps founder James Wards promote the upcoming Invercargill E-sports events.

YOUR Corps electronic gaming (E-gaming) and South Alive have joined forces to give children and teenagers the chance to gather together to take part in E-sports events.

Your Corps founder James Wards described the E-sports provider as a social development group which was established to “provide opportunities for young people and children to have access to state-of-the-art gaming devices and take part in competing… all in the same room for social interactions”.

However, it was more than simply playing electronic games, he said.

“Its aim was to help young people develop social connections, and help with their physical and mental well-being,” and learn how to problem solve.

As they are playing the games, “they will be surrounded with people”.

The 20 computers were “networked” together in the same room, allowing the gamers to interact and play against each other.

There were a “huge selection of games”, with Minecraft and Fortnite among the selection for the younger players, while Call of Duty was more suited for the teenagers, he said.

“They are played in a moderated environment, with adult supervision and parental permission was needed.

“You have to have the games they play… the latest and greatest… to retain their attention.”

The computers would be set up at South Alive’s The Pod next Sunday for the Inva Corps E-sports event.

The aim for the 8 to 12-year-old group was to develop co-operation, creativity and learn how to work together to solve a problem, while for the 13 to 17-year-old group it was more about competing, he said.

“It’s about educating kids on how to work a computer, especially all the buttons and how to plug in the headphones. Everyone will also get to try the virtual reality headsets,” he said.

“Some have never had the opportunity… a lot of them are afraid of computers.”

As well as the opportunity to play E-games and make new friends, participants also had the chance to meet a local video game developer Joshua Harrington from Spotted, who was based in Dunedin, who had previously donated 20 copies of his game, Mr Wards said.

South Alive would host five Sundays for children for the rest of the year.

As the events were prebooked, only those who had received a Your Corps Multiplayer Gaming Club pass from their school could attend.

As South Alive was mainly focused on residents within the 9812 postcode area, the children had been nominated from South Invercargill schools.

South Alive administration and finance manager Claire McDonagh said “the schools choose their pupils who might benefit the most from these events”.

This was the second year South Alive had hosted the event.

Mr Wards was also keen to establish Sunday E-gaming events and was keen to hear from businesses which were keen to help with sponsorship.

In appreciation of their support “the sponsor can have their logo printed on the (Your Corps Multiplayer Gaming Club) pass”.

  • For more information, phone James Ward on 027 333 9452 or email

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