Super Sports Weekend hailed as successful
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.”
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
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.