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Tuesday, 28 June 2011 14:42

Southern Alberta Summer Games around the corner

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By Christiana Pillibeit

For four days in July about 3,000 participants from all over Southern Alberta will travel to Medicine Hat for the Spirit of the South: the Southern Alberta Summer Games.

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Jericka Versikaitis, City of Medicine Hat Regional Director, organizes the 800+ participant packages handed out.

The Games, which take place July 6-9, are open to all Southern Alberta residents aged five to 95, with the oldest participant being 83-years-old. The Games’ participants will be seen at locations around Medicine Hat for the 24 events from the Family Leisure Centre, Kin Coulee Park, to the Southridge YMCA.

While the most popular sport event is soccer there are a number of non-athletic events included in these games as well. Along with an art show there will be competitions for gamers such as chess and cribbage.

For this reason Kara Hurkens, the games co-ordinator notes it’s important for the Southern Alberta region to have its own games apart from the rest of the province.

“Anybody can get involved, you don’t have be an athlete to participate,” Hurkens says, “It’s very family-oriented as well.”

Last year, Medicine Hat had more than 200 participants in the 2010 Southern Alberta Summer Games hosted by Brooks. This year there are approximately 700 participants from Medicine Hat and more than 2,200 from the remaining regions in the 2011 Southern Alberta Summer Games, along with 400 volunteers to organize and co-ordinate by the volunteer director.

Games officials are still looking for a handful of volunteers for the soccer and mini-soccer events. The majority of volunteers have been from Medicine Hat, but a number of people from outside the city have volunteered as well.

While volunteers are still required Kara was confident they would get enough before the games begin July 6.

“We wouldn’t shut an event down if we didn’t have enough volunteers,” Hurkens said. She went on to say the volunteers already working for the games would step up to the plate and make all the events possible.

Hurkens holds the only paid position of the Summer Games, but for her the biggest challenge of hosting the summer Games in Medicine Hat has been the amount of work,  saying, “It’s a lot of planning and long days.”

Despite the many hours of work it has taken to organize and host the event, Hurkens points out the benefits as well.

“(The Games) brings people to our community and it promotes community spirit. Medicine Hat is a beautiful city and this is a chance to show what a great community it is.”

For more info check out the official website at: http://www.southern albertasummergames.com/.


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