Games to begin with last minute help

By Geoff Lee

March 24, 2016 10:04 AM

The countdown clock to the start of the opening ceremonies of the Saskatchewan First Nations Winter Games is running out of days, hours, minutes and seconds.
Time can be seen ticking down online at the Games’ official website at
The action will officially kick off at Onion Lake Cree First Nation Sunday at 6 p.m. with a welcome to an estimated 3,500 young athletes from 13 regional teams/ tribal councils in Saskatchewan.
Organizers are working flat out to beat the buzzer.
“We are still working on everything — it’s going good — we have a good strong team leading,” said Games’ executive director Tamara Belly in charge of volunteers.
Belly is optimistic she will have all of her 500 volunteers in place at Onion Lake and Lloydminster on   time.
Her call for 350 more volunteers reported by the Source last week has resulted in needing just under 100 volunteers as of Monday to fill all positions.
“We’ve done really well actually — I am quite impressed,” said Belly.
“We got a really good response from the Lions Club.”
She said she had yet to hear back from other charity clubs in Lloydminster, but was confident they would contact her with just a few days to go.
Athletes will compete in seven sports including badminton, basketball, broomball, curling, hockey, table tennis and volleyball starting March 28 to April 1.
More of the sports will take place in Lloydminster where the volunteer need is greatest.
Belly said they are still looking for a few volunteers for broomball, food services and female hockey.
“For the broomball, we need equipment managers and scorekeepers and timekeepers,” she said.
For girls midget hockey volunteers are needed as timekeepers, marshals, scorekeepers and penalty box helpers.
“Then for food service, we definitely need a lot of prep cooks, servers, cooks in Lloyd and in Onion Lake – we have two food services venues,” said Belly.
Belly said most of the volunteers who have registered are from Lloydminster and Onion Lake along with some helpers as far away as Edmonton and Saskatoon.
Potential volunteers can contact Belly direct at 306-307-1715 or dropping by the Games’ office at the Onion Lake Energy office downtown Lloydminster.
Athletes as well as chaperons, coaches, spectators, band designates and mission staff are expected to start pulling into town in buses on Saturday with the majority arriving on Sunday for the opening.
Onion Lake first hosted the winter games in 1996 and the summer games in 2009.
The Games focuses on the growth and development of each sport while showcasing First Nation cultural heritage and providing an opportunity for the youth to have an active and healthy lifestyle.

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