Test events pro­vide valu­able lessons for West­ern Canada Sum­mer Games or­ga­niz­ers

The Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE -

that,” she ex­plained.

“There’s things about run­ning events out­doors that can trans­late well. So we will be shar­ing learn­ings from th­ese three test events with all of our sport chairs, be­cause there are lessons that are ap­pli­ca­ble to all of them.”

The or­ga­ni­za­tion of just three test events was an eye opener for the large scale ef­fort ahead to run a 16 sport event over 10 con­sec­u­tive days. The three sum­mer test events at­tracted 124 competitors, and nearly 100 vol­un­teers con­trib­uted to hold­ing th­ese events.

Dur­ing de­brief­ing ses­sions af­ter the test events, event chairs made the com­ment that the stand alone events took con­sid­er­able ef­fort.

“Peo­ple were say­ing, wow, what did it take for us to do this one day or this two day event. And that’s the only event that we’re work­ing on and we’re all fo­cused on that,” Bar­bier said. “I have a small team of staff, and we had a smaller group of vol­un­teers for each of th­ese events. But it was a lot of work. And we put a lot of time and ef­fort into it. And we were all tired at the end of it,” she added. “So then to put that into per­spec­tive of next year, we’re not just run­ning three events in five weeks, with weeks in be­tween. We’re run­ning 16 events, plus open­ing and clos­ing cer­e­monies, plus a cul­tural fes­ti­val - over 10 days.”

“I think the ‘ahah mo­ment’ might be peo­ple think­ing we’re just a small piece, and look how much it takes for this small piece in this much big­ger puz­zle that’s go­ing to hap­pen next year.”

“I think that’s a good thing for peo­ple to see too… It was great we learned so much, but there’s go­ing to be all this other stuff go­ing on too. And so we def­i­nitely will need more peo­ple next year.”

With the Games just un­der one year away, the Games plan­ning now shifts to­wards more in­ten­sive plan­ning from the var­i­ous teams re­spon­si­ble for the di­verse ar­eas needed to host the ap­prox­i­mately 2,300 ath­letes, coaches, and of­fi­cials who will be in­volved in next year’s com­pe­ti­tion.

“There’s lots of de­tails to work out now. A big push for us is to get our venue teams up and func­tion­ing this fall. So we’re still look­ing for some peo­ple to join teams…that will work with all the vol­un­teers to run the venues for each of the dif­fer­ent sports come Games time.”

Bar­bier said de­tails on th­ese var­i­ous po­si­tions and needs can be found on their web­site 2019wcsg.ca un­der the vol­un­teer tab.

There will be a pair of fi­nal test events in 2019 dur­ing the months lead­ing up to the Games, in­clud­ing a test of the new moun­tain bike course, plus Swift Cur­rent will be host­ing the West­ern Cana­dian Tri Prov­ince Cham­pi­onship track meet.

Games or­ga­niz­ers will be mak­ing a ma­jor call for vol­un­teers in early 2019, and a series of pro­mo­tional launches are planned to help build the pro­file of the Games. An ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram will soon be un­veiled across Saskatchewan, pro­vid­ing re­sources to teach­ers from Kinder­garten to Grade 12 to teach stu­dents about the West­ern Canada Sum­mer Games. They are look­ing at launch­ing a Youth Ath­lete Am­bas­sador Pro­gram in or­der to en­gage youth and sports teams in the re­gion. There will also be a medal de­sign con­test this fall to find the de­sign which will ap­pear on the gold, sil­ver and bronze medals which will be pre­sented to win­ning ath­letes.

Ef­forts will also in­ten­sify to­wards se­cur­ing spon­sor­ship for the Games.

“We’ve been meet­ing with lots of com­pa­nies and lots of busi­nesses lo­cally, re­gion­ally and provin­cially as well. We’ve had a few sponsors come on board, but we need more too. We want to put on a qual­ity Games, and we’re invit­ing thou­sands of peo­ple to come to our re­gion next year,” Bar­bier said.

“And we want to put on an event that we’re go­ing to be proud of, and we’ll look back on and feel I was a part of that and we made that hap­pen. We want peo­ple leav­ing hav­ing a re­ally mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence in our home area, and want­ing to come back.”

SCOTT AN­DER­SON/SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

Denise Bar­bier, Games Man­ager of the 2019 West­ern Canada Sum­mer Games, ob­serves a group of of­fi­cials at the cy­cling test event in Swift Cur­rent on Au­gust 18.

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