‘Our finest hour’

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

beam with pride — and per­haps some ex­haus­tion — Satur­day as the Games wrapped up and ath­letes boarded their busses for the home­ward jour­ney.

Team Western came away with two of the three ma­jor awards, in­clud­ing the Premier’s Cove for the most over­all points, and the Sport NL Award for the most im­proved team.

But it was the host team that gen­er­ated the loud­est ap­plause when it was an­nounced it had won the Lieu­tenant-Gover­nor’s Award for the most spir­ited team. Ath­letes from the host re­gion earned 32 medals, in­clud­ing nine gold, and proved to be gra­cious am­bas­sadors throughout the week.

This award was voted on by var­i­ous ath­letes, of­fi­cials and coaches.

Har­bour Grace Mayor Don Coombs said Satur­day’s cer­e­monies were bit­ter­sweet. He was given the hon­our of ex­tin­guish­ing the flame, mak­ing his way to the tower through an hon­our guard formed by host ath­letes.

Coombs and Car­bon­ear Mayor Sam Slade also passed the Sum­mer Games flag to the Town of Con­cep­tion Bay South, which will host the event in 2016.

“It’s sad to see ev­ery­one go,” Coombs told The Com­pass. “We made a lot of friends and it was a great week for the ath­letes.

“It’s a great day for Har­bour Grace and Car­bon­ear, and hope­fully we don’t have to wait for an­other 20.”

Coombs said he was im­mensely proud and im­pressed by ath­letic prow­ess of the ath­letes, and the pos­i­tive en­ergy they brought to the Games.

Praise for Games man­ager

Games’ man­ager Stephanie Bourne was sin­gled out for her ef­forts, with Ge­orge com­pli­ment­ing her “su­perb or­ga­ni­za­tion skills” and sug­gest­ing her ca­reer is on an up­ward track.

“What you have done for us over the past year can only be de­scribed as phe­nom­e­nal,” Ge­orge said.

Ath­letes and coaches were also show­er­ing praise on or­ga­niz­ers.

Team Avalon girls’ ball hockey coach Jeff Gar­land said that when­ever he needed any­thing, or had a ques­tion, there was al­ways a vol­un­teer on hand to help out.

“Ev­ery­thing that I will take away from these Games has been pos­i­tive,” he said. “I don’t have any­thing neg­a­tive to say.”

For peo­ple like David Kennedy, who was di­rec­tor of venues, sports, of­fi­cials and in­te­gra­tion, such com­pli­ments were more than wel­come.

He was hum­bled by all the kinds words, and said it was only pos­si­ble be­cause so many peo­ple came for­ward to help out.

“The vol­un­teers were great,” he said, adding that fan at­ten­dance was also note­wor­thy, since many venues were of­ten filled with spec­ta­tors.

Lo­cal suc­cess

Dozens of ath­letes from the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion re­gion earned medals at the Games, ei­ther as a mem­ber of the host team, or Team Avalon (see fact box). Lo­cal ath­letes ex­celled in sports such as ball hockey, base­ball, swim­ming and track and field.

It was a mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence, said Car­bon­ear’s El­iz­a­beth Hicks, who won three medals at the track.

“There were a lot of peo­ple out cheer­ing us on,” she said. “I had a lot of my friends come up to me and say ‘good job.’”

When asked about what he thinks peo­ple will re­mem­ber 20 years from now, Coombs had trou­ble hid­ing his ex­cite­ment.

“I think peo­ple are go­ing to re­flect on the Games, es­pe­cially the kids, and say they were the best they were ever a part of,” he said.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Pho­tos by Terry Roberts/the Com­pass THE COM­PASS

Mem­bers of the host team proudly dis­play the Lieu­tenant-Gover­nor’s Award for the most spir­ited team at the 2012 NL Sum­mer Games, which were suc­cess­fully staged in Car­bon­ear and Har­bour Grace last week.

The man­ager for the 2012 NL Sum­mer Games, Stephanie Bourne, re­ceived gen

er­ous praise dur­ing the clos­ing cer­e­monies for lead­ing the enor­mous ef­fort

to or­ga­nize the event.

Car­bon­ear-Har­bour Grace MHA Jerome Kennedy (left) presents the Lieu­tenant-Gover­nor’s Award to Devon Groves of Car­bon­ear and Re­gan Reynolds of Har­bour Grace. The two young ath­letes ac­cepted the award on be­half of the host team. The award is pre­sented to the most spir­ited team at the NL Sum­mer Games.

We had a re­ally good time. It was a lot of fun. We had a few tough games. Went to a few events. It was good mem­o­ries. A good ex­pe­ri­ence.

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