Su­per Sports Week­end hailed as suc­cess­ful

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Per­haps the best way the de­scribe Su­per Sports Week­end in Bay Roberts is us­ing a scene from the morn­ing of July 17.

With the play­offs of the men’s soft­ball tour­na­ment set to start at the Lang­don Critch Memo­rial Soft­ball Field, a group of 100plus run­ners took their marks in front of the skate park just a few feet away.

As one of the pitch­ers de­liv­ered a ball to the plate, the Carved By The Sea road race got un­der­way. From the out­field, it was a job to fol­low the ball with a rather large group of peo­ple run­ning up the road.

It’s a form of con­trolled chaos that some or­ga­niz­ers would balk at.

Yet, that’s what or­ga­nizer and Bay Roberts re­cre­ation di­rec­tor Ian Flynn strives for ev­ery year when he hosts the busiest week­end on Bay Roberts’ sport­ing cal­en­dar.

“I al­ways judge the suc­cess of an event by what other peo­ple say,” he said. “When you have teams from out­side town … say you have one of the best events go­ing on, the chat­ter around Su­per Sports Week­end is sec­ond to none.

“And, when you bring teams in here for the first time and they see 100 rac­ers lin­ing up in the back­ground, they re­al­ize there’s much more to this week­end than a soft­ball tour­na­ment.”

That it is. There’s also volleyball, soft­ball, swim­ming and a road race all tak­ing place at the same time within 10 min­utes of each other.

Over the last nine years, it’s be­come a des­ti­na­tion for some of the finest tal­ent the prov­ince has to of­fer.

It’s a busy week­end for Flynn. He spends it bounc­ing from one venue to an­other, help­ing out where he can and fig­ur­ing out some of the mi­nor prob­lems that are bound to creep up as tour­na­ments un­fold.

He cred­ited much of the suc­cess to vol­un­teers who or­ga­nize other as­pects of the week­end. Peo­ple like Angela Nor­man who han­dled the volleyball tour­na­ment, Roy Mercer with the road race and the Bay Roberts Sea Li­ons at the swim meet.

“I had one of the run­ners tell me that there were more vol­un­teers on the road than ac­tual rac­ers,” said Flynn. “It couldn’t do be done with­out the vol­un­teers. That speaks highly of the vol­un­teer base we have here in town.”

Eco­nomic spinoff

It’s not just the ath­letes who get a big pay­off from Su­per Sports week­end. Busi­nesses in the com­mu­nity are sure to see a boon in busi­ness with more than 600 peo­ple and their fam­i­lies de­scend­ing on the region for three days.

That means blocked ho­tel rooms, restau­rants and gas bars over three days.

And, it’s not just Bay Roberts busi­nesses who see an uptick. Soft­ball was played else­where at fields in Har­bour Grace and Up­per Is­land Cove.

“When you see teams come in and say, ‘ They can’t find a spot in Bay Roberts or it’s hard to find a spot in Bay Roberts,’ that’s what this is all about,’” said Flynn. “It’s the eco­nomic spinoffs that the town re­ceives for th­ese types of events as well.

“Ob­vi­ously, there’s peo­ple spend­ing money in the town.”

With this year’s event in the books, officials al­ready have an eye on next year. The goal is to keep im­prov­ing, which may be hard when this year had so many par­tic­i­pants.

Flynn is also open to adding even more to an al­ready over­flow­ing sched­ule.

“I al­ways strive for ‘go big or go home’ at the end of the day,” he said. “If any­body is in­ter­ested in adding a par­tic­u­lar sport to the event, they can give me a call and dis­cuss it. I’ll be open to any ideas.”

When you see teams come in and say, ‘They can’t find a spot in Bay Roberts or it’s hard to find a spot in Bay Roberts,’ that’s what this is all about.’ -Ian Flynn

PHOTO BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER/THE COM­PASS

An­drew Churchill par­tic­i­pates in the back crawl dur­ing the Bay Roberts Sea Li­ons an­nual swim meet as a part of Su­per Sports Week­end in Bay Roberts July 15-17.

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