Team Saskatchewan prepares for 2017 North American Indigenous Games
- EFN Staff | October 27, 2016
In just under one year’s time over 500 athletes, coaches and mission staff will begin the journey to Toronto for the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) which is set to take place from July 16-23, 2017. Preparations are currently being made to make sure that Team Saskatchewan delivers our young people an experience they won’t soon forget.
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Team Sask Steering Committee Chairperson Marc Longjohn spoke recently about all the preparations. “NAIG is an event that requires our entire community to help out. Whether it is driving kids to camps, coaching a team, fundraising or even sponsoring the team to help get them to Toronto, no one person can do this alone,” said Longjohn. “This year the steering committee is really excited because of all of the people who have come forward to lend a hand. The games only come around every three years and are something that our young people look forward to and work hard towards making the team. As leaders in our communities we need to also work hard to make sure that the memories and friendships created are good ones.”
Talent Identification camps in all fourteen NAIG sports are currently being held across the province. Sport Coordinators for all sports have been busy booking diamonds, gyms and fields to host athletes hoping to become a member of Team Saskatchewan. In the past couple of weeks over three hundred young people attended camps, and that was just for soccer. The committee estimates that over 1500 athletes will attend the talent identification camps.
“We held two camps for ball and will have another one in the spring. The coaches are looking forward to working with the athletes to help develop their skills in addition to assessing their abilities,” said Denise Waskewitch, sport coordinator for Baseball.
Team Saskatchewan has recently developed a new website to act as the information “hub” for all Talent Identification camps, forms and eventually profiles of athletes and coaches new and old to Team Saskatchewan. The website can be found at www.teamsasknaig.ca
The North American Indigenous Games was born out a dream to give our young people a chance to realize their potential, both as an athlete and a person. Founders of the games began with little other than the will of a few key leaders and the support of the Indigenous community. Since then, the games have grown to include many different sports, additional provinces and states and have become a multi-million dollar event. Even through all this growth the goal of helping to shape the lives of our youth has remained constant.