Lac La Ronge has array of physical activity offerings
- Errol Sutherland | January 11, 2021
For our northern communities, sports & recreation through COVID-19 has had its ups and downs, but at the Lac La Ronge Indian Band, Kevin Roberts is optimistic about how our Indigenous people persevered during difficult times.
EFN: How did COVID-19 affect your area in sports? What happened when you first heard the news?
KR: When COVID-19 hit back in March 2020, we had just finished hosting the annual Lac La Ronge Winter Festival, a nine-day event that included an atom minor hockey tournament, an adult recreation hockey and a co-ed adult volleyball tournament. Like everywhere else, our sports and recreation program pretty much came to a halt. It was definitely disappointing.
I’ve become accustomed to attending or participating in the major youth and adult Aboriginal hockey tournaments (including) Canadian Western Minor Hockey Championships; Oskana Cup; Senator’s Cup; Fred Sasakamoose “Chief Thunderstick” National Hockey Championships as well as in FSIN Sports Championships; North American Indigenous Games (NAIG); Sask. Softball Provincials; National Softball Championships; and the annual softball exhibition series with New Zealand International Softball Academy, to name a few.
EFN: How have your community members been keeping active during lockdown?
KR: This past year, COVID numbers in our area were relatively small. I noticed people here increased their outdoor activities: walking, hiking, boating, fishing, which provided great ways to social distance.
EFN: What are some of the activities your organization has been doing?
KR: Part of my position includes overseeing the facility management of a fitness centre and promoting it to increase user memberships. Community-wise, we were able to open up our fitness centre again for public use in early June and also started up our youth sports fitness program for aspiring athletes within the allowable guidelines. In the late fall, we started up with adult CrossFit and yoga classes.
EFN: Pending COVID timelines, what are some of your organization's plans for 2021? What can we expect?
KR: At the moment, we still remain operational and are doing what we can based on the government guidelines. Hockey practices are limited to eight players on the ice and public skating continue. Our fitness centre remains, open but we’ve capped the allowable number of people per hourly workout sessions. We’ve strongly adhered to the COVID regulations since day one and have adapted to them accordingly.
EFN: Has there been any new technologies or online planning in development to help your clients stay active in case of further lockdowns?
KR: We haven’t made any decisions on our operations yet in the event of further restrictions that may be implemented. Our usual way of dealing with things is to implement our programs based on the latest Reopen Saskatchewan Plan guidelines.
EFN: Did you create any new community-based programs during the COVID Lockdowns? If so, what were the outcomes? How were they implemented?
KR: During the course of the pandemic, we started adult CrossFit and yoga classes. If there is no change to the current guidelines in the next couple updates, we hope to start up a second round of classes. We are seeing a trend in people taking this opportunity to engage in physical health and wellness.