Hundreds of volunteers needed for Games

By Geoff Lee

March 10, 2016 4:00 AM

Raise your hand if you can volunteer for the Saskatchewan First Nations Winter Games with Onion Lake First Nation and Lloydminster as host locations.
With 90 per cent of the sports events taking place in Lloydminster, organizers say they need 500 volunteers during the games,  which take place from March 28 to April 1
“It’s definitely coming down to crunch time,” said Games executive assistant Tamara Belly.
She is beating the drums for more volunteers with another 350 needed as of Wednesday.
Volunteers will work four hour shifts in roles such as timekeepers, prep cooks and event staff, drivers, entertainment crews and venue supervisors.
The event will draw more than 3,500 young athletes from nine to 18 years of age from most of the First Nations in Saskatchewan.
About 13 regional teams will compete in the week long event in seven sports including badminton, basketball, broomball, curling, hockey, table tennis and volleyball.
Belly is optimistic her efforts to rally helpers from local service groups such as the Optimist Club, the Lloydminster OTS, the Kinsmen and from Onion Lake will generate results as word spreads.
“It’s a community pride thing, right, so Lloyd is opening its doors to its visitors,” said Belly.
“We are coming together as a community welcoming these tribal councils.”
She said she was also thinking of approaching sporting organizations in Lloydminster just to see if they have volunteers for assistance.
She is hopeful that will happen with greater awareness that Lloydminster is getting the lion’s share of the economic benefits.
The Games are expected to have an economic impact of between $4 to $5 million with most of the money spent in Lloydminster.
Belly has also been helping to coordinate entertainment and accommodations since last August.
“I believe I’ve got 90 per cent of my accommodations done, so now I am just trying to figure out the volunteer stuff,” she said
Aside from athletes, the event will bring in dozens of chaperones, coaches, spectators, band designates and mission staff who are booking hotel rooms.
Belly said hotel owners have been very pleased and very helpful.
“We are so excited to be partnering up with Lloyd – Lloyd has been very receptive,” she said.
There are many ways to apply for a volunteer position including phoning Belly at (306) 307-1715 on her cellphone or dropping by the Games office at the Onion Lake Energy office downtown.
Volunteer applications are also available at the Games website www.sask2016.com.
We’ve been posting on Facebook on all the different Lloydminster web sites,” said Belly.
“We’ve done some outreach with the Rotary club.”

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