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Tuesday, 02 May 2017 08:00

Volunteers still needed for summer games in Brooks

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Planning is coming along nicely for the 47th Annual Southern Alberta Summer Games (SASG) which this summer is being hosted by the City of Brooks and County of Newell.

While organizers nail down the details of the four-day event, set for July 5-8, they are also still looking for sponsors and volunteers to come on board, says Rachel Sillito, SASG Brooks co-ordinator.
Along with the regular sports competitors have come to expect at each SASG, the 2017 edition will also feature archery, trapshooting, golfing, equestrian events, pickleball, bowling, tennis and the addition of a three-kilometre run to the regular five- and 10-km events. There will also be a strength and conditioning category.
The Southern Alberta Summer Games is more than just about sports as it features a focus on arts and cultural activities as well.
“We’re planning a lot of events and social activities,” says Sillito.
While details are still being finalized, there will be a concert the night of the opening ceremonies. Social events for athletes will include a swim night.
The communities of Brooks and the surrounding area which make up the County of Newell have stepped forward to volunteer, but a ball hockey chair was still required as of earlier this month, as well as a chair for the three/five and 10-km running events.
“(Volunteers) just need to have some time and some interest in those areas,” points out Sillito. “Some previous planning experience would also be beneficial.”
There will be a need for many other volunteers to help once the event actually arrives, and organizers are hoping people will start signing up as soon as possible. That can be done online.
Rules will also be posted to the website as well as the social and events schedule once details are finalized.
Registration to compete in the Southern Alberta Summer Games is drawing near with a deadline of May 8.
Organizers are hoping to see more sponsorship come forward in the coming weeks. More than 2,500 competitors and their family members will converge on Brooks for the summer games, resulting in an economic boost to the area of about $1 million as people purchase meals, gasoline, stay in hotels or camp and do some extra shopping.
There are various levels of sponsorship available for interested businesses including platinum at $5,000 or more; gold at $2,500 or more; silver at $1,000 or more; bronze at $500 or more and blue ribbon at more than $250.
Lorna Morishita, chairperson for the SASG in Brooks, hopes people will be generous with their donations.
“With a proposed budget of around $120,000 for the games, sponsorships of all kinds play a significant part in the games,” she said, in a news release. “We are always very thankful for how the business community responds to help make the games a success and fun for the competitors and their families. The Games committee has come up with a good variety of different sponsorship opportunities for the local business community.”
This is Sillito’s first time organizing an event such as the Southern Alberta Summer Games and she looks forward to the challenge.
“I wanted to be involved in the community and be able to be part of such a big event,” she adds, about what interested her in applying for the job of games co-ordinator.
More information about this year’s SASG can be found online at: www.southernalbertasummer Individuals with questions or who want to volunteer or sponsor can also phone Sillito at 403-362-3622.
The Southern Alberta Summer Games were first hosted by Pincher Creek in 1970 and attract close to 3,000 competitors over the four days of activities.
The Southern Alberta Summer Games are the largest of its kind in Alberta and the largest annual sporting event run consecutively for more than 25 years in Western Canada. Brooks first hosted the games in 1979 and then again in 2010.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor