The Saskatchewan Senior Fitness Association (SSFA) district games for the southwest region took place in Swift Current, May 26. The event was open to anyone who will be 55 years or older in 2018. There was a total of 105 participants who competed in a variety of events, including track and field, pickleball, golf, bowling, eight-ball, shuffleboard, scrabble, bridge, cribbage, whist, as well as poetry and short story writing. Participants had an opportunity to qualify and advance to the 2018 SSFA 55+ Provincial Games in Moose Jaw from July 10-12. The main focus of the activities at the district and provincial games is on participation and not so much on competition. The SSFA's mission is to improve the well-being of seniors in Saskatchewan through physical, cultural, social and intellectual activities. There was a group of 20 enthusiastic participants in the track and field events, which took place at the Swift Current Comprehensive High School track. They competed in age categories from 55 to over 85. The oldest competitor was 91-year-old Doreen Erskine of Moose Jaw, who competed in the javelin, shot put and discuss events. Her 84-year-old sister Gwen Boiven of Moose Jaw was also participating in the track and field in the 50 metre and 100 metre sprint as well as the long jump and triple jump.

 

Swift Current Minor Girls Softball hosted a warm-up tournament for teams from various communities, May 26. Multiple Swift Current teams played in each age group and they were joined by teams from Kincaid, Kindersley, Lafleche, Leader, Maple Cree, and Shaunavon. A total of 30 games were played during the day.

 

The 8th annual Heart of Maverick celebration took place at Maverick School in Swift Current, May 25. The event was a celebration of the values of this student-driven school and the winner of the Heart of Maverick award was announced. The Heart of Maverick award is presented annually to a student who best represents the school's values and principles. Candidates are nominated by fellow students and staff members. Thereafter the top five nominees are selected by a committee, and the winner is then selected through a vote by students and staff. The winner was Cat Kearney and the other nominees were Griffin Funk, Alex Lindquist, Cera Myhr, and Aisha Silzer. The award was created to honour the legacy of the school's founding principal Steve Small, who retired in 2010. Steve and his wife Shannon donate the $300 cash prize for the award. There were some emotional moments during the event as students, family members and staff shared their feelings about the difference the school makes in their lives.

 

Central School in Swift Current held a special assembly on May 25 to formally unveil the song Cougar Strong, which was created by students through a collaborative effort with Saskatchewan singer-songwriter Jeffery Straker. He was present at the event to hear a performance of the song by the Central School choir and the entire student assembly. He was joined by local musician and high school teacher Ken Friesen, who created a backing track for the song in his studio. The song was written in early February, when Straker visited the school for a songwriting workshop with a group of 21 students from Grade 5-8. The creation of the song was a real school effort, because music teacher Celia Hammerton also brainstormed ideas for the song with students in different grades before the workshop. Students created the verses, chorus and melody for the song with guidance from Straker. The project provided a unique opportunity to students to explore their creativity and to learn about the songwriting process.

 

Community support helped the Swift Current SPCA to achieve its goal to raise $25,000 during the 5th annual John Mueller Memorial SPCA Radiothon, May 24. This amount represents about one month's budget for the animal shelter. The radiothon is the shelter's biggest fundraising event of the year. Various activities in support of the radiothon took place on Market Square during the day, including a hot dog barbeque, live musical entertainment by local performers, a pet photographer and a caricature artist. The Swift Current SPCA is a community-funded charity that relies on donations, fundraising, grants and adoption fees for more than 80 per cent of its annual budget. It is guided by a volunteer board of directors and every year volunteers contribute over 3,000 hours to the organization. The shelter takes care of 250 to 350 cats and dogs every year.

 

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