The Hungry Games – Archery and Pasta galore at the Spark Summer Teambuilding Day 2023

Mollie By Mollie

Throughout my first few months at Spark, I’ve heard numerous stories of previous social events and had learnt to expect big things from the Summer Teambuilding Day. Luckily for me, it appeared that I arrived just in time for what has been dubbed ‘the Oscars of the Spark social calendar’, and the plans for this year’s teambuilding day sounded very exciting. But did it deliver on my expectations?

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We started off with a spot of archery. With many of us having only tried archery on a school trip or computer game, we were drawing quite heavily on the instructors from 2020 Archery. After being equipped with bruise-proof arm guards and slice-preventing finger tabs, we were given a thorough safety briefing and treated to one-on-one sessions. The instructors’ guidance worked wonders on not only our accuracy, but on our confidence for what was next to come... the competition. Now, although we were battling it out in teams for the coveted gold trophy (this is our team-building day after all!), individual achievements were still rewarded, and rightly so! Stand-out performances included Jon, who I suspect had been practising, Cathy and Nick – I’m sure their results would have impressed even Katniss Everdeen!

Pasta la Vista! pasta

Who knew that a sport requiring you to stand firmly in one spot could work up such a healthy appetite? Well, after two hours of shooting, we were in dire need of some sustenance which resulted in us racing to our second activity – pasta making! The team at Pasta Evangelists had prepared a delicious antipasto for our arrival, complete with an assortment of goodies from cured meats to fresh focaccia. We each grabbed a plate (or three...) and tucked in.

Donning our aprons, we were ready for the main event. The first stage was making the dough where we mixed egg^ and flour (^vegan alternatives were also available) by hand until we had formed a dough ball. As simple as it sounds, the kneading took a bit more welly than anticipated but bar one dropped ball, we all managed the ideal consistency. Whilst our dough was resting, we were given a masterclass in how to roll out pasta reportedly good enough to please any Nonna. With experienced bakers among the Spark team, this step was easier for some, but eventually we were all able to fill, shape and cut our pasta into perfect ravioli that tasted as good as it looked. And after such a jam-packed day, we headed to The Old Red Cow for a final hurrah - no lessons were necessary for this part.

Right on target

I am happy to report that the Summer Teambuilding Day certainly lived up to its expectations and embodied what Spark is all about (nothing like The Hunger Games !). Being surrounded by such a supportive group of people who value learning new skills and navigating challenges as well as the importance of having fun along the way, which is why I’ve loved my time at Spark so far. I’m already looking forward to next year!