Games off to great start


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March 31, 2016 6:00 AM

The Saskatchewan First Nation Winter Games kicked off Sunday with its opening ceremonies in Onion Lake and, as of Monday, the first day of competition, things were off to a good start.
Most of the week’s games are being held in Lloydminster venues and Tamara Belly, executive assistant for the games, was busy taking calls while en route to events and said everything was going smoothly.
“We had a beautiful opening ceremony yesterday — the competitions start today — we had a few skills clinics; one for curling at the Lloydminster Golf and Curling Centre, and one for table tennis at E.S. Laird Middle School,” Belly said Monday.
“We’re doing pretty good, I think we’re adjusting well to the location of the visiting tribal council.”
The week-long games are heavily dependant on volunteers, who are responsible for everything from helping out with games marshalling, scoring and time keeping for hockey to serving, prepping and cooking with food services.
Volunteers are also needed for event staff who traffic people to venues, show visitors where the different teams are playing and to look after the facilities where the different event are held.
Belly said they started off with a sufficient amount of helpers, but a few dropped out, which left organizers a bit shorthanded.
“Not very many; probably like 10 to 15,” she said of the amount of volunteers the event was down.
But she added with a laugh, “So we call in for reinforcements — we have no choice right —  from anywhere we can pull them; we have people working from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m, it’s a lot of good volunteers everywhere.”
Other than the volunteer situation, though, she said Lloydminster has been a good host city for the games and all of the venues are great and up to par to handle the events.
“We’re just really excited about the progress of the games and it’s been our honour to host them.”
The closing ceremonies will be in Onion Lake on Friday evening, which will then kick off the volunteer appreciation round up.
All the events are free and available to the public to watch and a full schedule can be found at

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