‘The kids are happy’

Gallant says four-day event a suc­cess

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - THE GUARDIAN P.E.I. medal win­ners at the Aca­dian Games. 14- and 15-year-old boys Mal­colm Gil­man, gold in dis­cus and javelin. Luc Gallant, gold in the 2,000 me­tres and bronze in the 1,200 me­tres. 14- and 15-year-old girls Bianca Roche, sil­ver in high jump.

Emile Gallant had one main cri­te­ria for eval­u­at­ing the Aca­dian Games af­ter the four-day event con­cluded ear­lier this week in Char­lot­te­town.

And, said the pres­i­dent of the Games or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee, judg­ing by the feed­back from many of the 1,391 Fran­co­phone male and fe­male ath­letes and mis­sion staff from four prov­inces things went smash­ingly well.

“If the ath­letes and (mis­sion staff) went home happy and en­joyed their stay, that’s a suc­cess,” said Gallant. “Over­all, we were very, very happy with the way the Games went.”

The Games ran from June 26 to 30 with com­pe­ti­tions tak­ing place June 27 to 30 in venues in Char­lot­te­town and Winsloe.

P.E.I. fin­ished with 12 medals, 11 in track and field, paced by Mal­colm Gil­man’s golds in dis­cus and javelin, and Luc Gallant’s gold in 2,000 me­tres.

Sil­ver medals went to Bianca Roche and Kate­lyn Mil­li­gan in­14and 15-year-old girls high jump and shot put, re­spec­tively.

South-East from New Brunswick led the field with 49 medals, in­clud­ing 20 gold.

Over­all, 200 medals were handed out to ath­letes on the nine teams at­tend­ing the Games.

In this ver­sion, the Games added moun­tain bik­ing, ul­ti­mate Fris­bee and para-track events, as well as a cul­tural por­tion, with an im­prov event and a bat­tle of the bands, to en­tice kids who aren’t ath­letes into the Aca­dian mix.

Fi­nal­ists in the im­prov and bat­tle of the bands af­fairs fin­ished their events in front of all the ath­letes and par­ents on the last day. That’s per­form­ing for about 1,200 peo­ple.

“All the ath­letes were at their fi­nals. We wanted art to get some re­ally good ex­po­sure (and) not just be there as a to­ken,” said Gallant.

The Is­land group, 112 Ac­cords, fin­ished sec­ond in the bat­tle of the bands com­pe­ti­tion.

These Games were Gallant’s sec­ond as com­mit­tee pres­i­dent. He helped lead the charge 25 years ago when the Games were in the Evan­ge­line arena.

Gallant said these days ath­letes are more com­pet­i­tive as many are aim­ing for the Canada Games and other events.

But much re­mains the same, such as the hard work put in by the hun­dreds of vol­un­teers at the sites and oth­ers be­hind the scenes dur­ing the past two years.

“When it comes to­gether ( for the four days) it’s full-time 100 per cent. You feel good about what you did. The kids are happy.”

On the web at http://2015.jeuxdela­cadie.org.

HEATHER TAWEEL/THE GUARDIAN

Gabriel The­ri­ault, left, South-East, and Jo­laine La­gace, Res­tigouche, play mixed mini hand-ball Mon­day at UPEI as part of the Aca­dian Games. Res­tigouche won 18-16.

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