Thursday, 11 April 2013 10:54

Youths give valuable input to Stampede officials

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Allivia Sauer, centre, writes down some ideas about how the Stampede’s youth panel should govern itself at a meeting in March. Allivia Sauer, centre, writes down some ideas about how the Stampede’s youth panel should govern itself at a meeting in March. Photo by Rose Sanchez

Officials with the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede are looking to remain relevant and using the input of teens to do so.

Stampede director Rick Massini is one of the people behind the creation of the Stampede youth panel which held its first organizational meeting at the end of February.
“We need to know what youth think about what we’re doing,” he explains, about the reasons behind its creation. “These people are eventually attendees at our events. We want to make sure we continue to be relevant.”
The other reason for the new panel is that the current directors are aging.
“We need young people coming up and taking over the operation of the Stampede ... We think we provide a useful and worthwhile service to Medicine Hat and area.”
There are 17 teens on the panel ranging in age from
14 to 17. Once more organized, the youths will be setting up a structure similar to 4-H organizations that includes a chair, vice-chair, recording secretary, treasurer, activities co-ordinator and communications co-ordinator. For now, Massini is the acting chair of the panel helping focus the teens.
The panelists will be expected to attend various Stampede events and lend a hand at them. Then in debriefing meetings they can offer their feedback to Stampede committees organizing the events.
“They’re going to be offering valuable feedback,” adds Massini.
The teens have their first youth involvement project in April when the Stampede hosts its annual indoor spring rodeo April 19-21. In groups, the panelists will cover the rodeo as if they are news reporters, interviewing people, writing a story, coming up with a catchy headline, taking photos and even producing a 30-second video clip.
The youth panel includes representation from both the urban and rural areas.
Allivia Sauer is a panelist from Acadia Valley. She lives on a farm and her family attends most Stampede events.
Sauer says she wanted to join the youth panel so she could get more involved with the Stampede organization.
“The fact I get to be involved with the stuff that goes on and put my input into whether there should be changes or things should be altered,” says Sauer, about why she joined.
“I get to meet new people too.”
The 14-year-old is currently in Grade 9 at Warren Peers School in Acadia Valley. She’ll be attending high school in Oyen.
She’s active in many school activities including being on the volleyball team and she plays badminton. She’s also the vice-president in both the Medicine Hat Light Horse 4-H Club and the Bindloss 4-H Multi Club.
There are five horses on the family farm she rides on a regular basis and in the multi-club she has a steer project as well as is learning to work on small engines.
There’s also a lot of chores to be done on the farm, which Sauer doesn’t mind at all.
“I like being on the farm. It feels more open,” she says. Her father and stepmother live in Saskatoon and when she visits them she enjoys returning to the Acadia Valley farm.
Although there’s still a few years to make up her mind, Sauer has decided she wants to either choose veterinarian as a career or some job that involves working with animals.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

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