Schools take on the 2017 MixMatch Challenges!

The 2017 MixMatch and Mini MixMatch challenges took place at Mixenden Activity Centre last week. The MixMatch Challenge, held on Tuesday 13th June saw pupils from Trinity Academy and Park Lane go head to head whilst the MiniMixmatch Challenge on Thursday 15th June had teams from Dean Field Community Primary School, Ash Green Community Primary School, Whitehill Community Academy, Moorside Community Primary School and Mount Pellon Academy battling it out in a series of team building tasks to be crowned winners of the 2017 challenges.

Both events began with a Tag Collection warm up task in which all participating teams headed into Mixenden Reservoir Woods to find and collect any tags matching their teams colour within a time limit and all the teams taking part worked well together.

Following the Tag Collection the teams were then split up ready to take part in separate challenges in which they were marked for their overall efforts within each challenge focusing on teamwork, timing, communication, leadership skills and initiative.

The challenges consisted of:

  • Rock Climbing – Teams took part in rock climbing to build communication and teamwork skills.
  • Blindfold Obstacle Course – One team member was blindfolded and had to carry a ball through an obstacle course with the guidance of remaining team members.
  • Shark Challenge – Teams had to carry equipment to build a hose using a ladder and crates to get from a starting point to the other side of the course before assembling the hose. Teams then had to dismantle the hose and make their way back to the starting point leaving equipment exactly as they found it. All without stepping off the crates or ladder.
  • Bench Challenge – Team members were stood on a narrow bench with a pool of water either side, teams had to follow instructions to order themselves in different categories such as age or height without falling in.
  • Police Relay – Teams dribbled a football around cones before working in 3’s on a set of wooden skis to get to the finish line where they then dressed in a Police Uniform and hit a riot shield with a baton.
  • Fire Drain Challenge – Teams worked together to spray water from a fire hose, over the fire engine and into a large bucket.
  • Tent Challenge – Team leaders were shown how to erect and dismantle a tent before leading and helping their team mates put up and take down another with no assistance.
  • Bike Challenge – Teams raced round a preset course with a slalom, ramps and a see saw in order to accumulate as many laps as possible within a time limit.

At the end of the challenges, semifinalists were decided by teams who had accumulated the most points throughout the day before they went head to head in the final challenge which involved running to collect water from a paddling pool before filling a large barrel repeatedly until time ran out.

The barrel challenge came with a twist as they had a number of holes drilled around the sides which meant the teams had to work together to keep holes plugged up whilst continuing to fill up the barrels. Measuring sticks were

then used at the end to decide the teams who would head into the final, decided by the same challenge.

There was some great teamwork displayed throughout the semifinals and all teams taking part on both days were fantastic but unfortunately only 2 teams could progress to the Finals.

Whitehill Community Academy were eventually crowned winners of the 2017 Mini MixMatch Challenge after a great final between themselves and Ash Green Community Primary School, whilst Trinity Academy were the victors against Park Lane in a very closely contested final.


The theory behind the MixMatch challenges is to get young people working with uniformed services to cut down barriers between them. As a result of this and similar youth engagement work, the police and fire service have confirmed that youth ASB and deliberate fires, especially in the Mixenden area, has been drastically reduced.

Services who took part in the 2017 MixMatch Challenges were West Yorkshire Fire Service, West Yorkshire Police and Calderdale Council Community Wardens, who happily give their services for free each year.

Special thanks to Clive Ingham and his staff at Mixenden Activity centre for their continual support of this event.

Funding for the event was supplied by grants from the Safer Communities Fund and the Ward Forum Grants scheme and refreshments were provided by the Morrisons store in Illingworth.

If you would like further information on the MixMatch Challenge Event please contact Heather Stout by email to or call 01422 255402

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