The hunt for funds and sponsorship is dashing forward as the games are only 10 months away.
“Our goal is to raise $200,000 from the PA and surrounding area,” said Marvin C. Sanderson, games coordinator.
Source for Sports has put their shoulder to the task by making a donation of $10,000.
“They came up with the option of donating the $10,000 with exclusive rights to have all the clothing rights for the games. And it was a win-win situation for us, because it was low risk for us,” Sanderson said. “We get all the proceeds from what we sell from our store(s).”
The deal also takes the planning pressure off games organizers.
“We don’t have to worry about having volunteers selling clothes at the games,” Sanderson said. “They’re gonna have their staff selling all the clothes at the different venues.”
Merchandise will be sold at the Athletes Village in Muskoday, at Prime Minister Park and at Kinsmen Park, as well as at Source for Sports.
The new logo was released on Sept. 13 and will replace the prior logo and adorn the games line of clothing.
Source for Sports business manager Blair Hoffman said the store has been involved with the games for years and now that it is happing in their hometown, they wanted to become a larger part of it.
“The Saskatchewan First Nations games concept is a wonderful concept. We have been involved now for six years, in virtually every summer and winter games in some capacity,” Hoffman said.
“We just think it’s a great program for the entire province of Saskatchewan, and it’s going to be even better when it’s held in Muskoday and Prince Albert and Birch Hills.”
“The purpose of the games is to give an avenue for First Nations athletes to compete and then to hopefully use it as a stepping stone." - Marvin C. Sanderson
“It involves the youth, the First Nations youth in the entire province of Saskatchewan. And obviously we think any program that is associated with the development of our youth in our province and our city is fantastic and we want to be part of it,” Hoffman said.
Up to 315 athletes from each of the 13 tribal councils across Saskatchewan may attend and compete in the 2013 games. That means there is the potential for more than 4,000 youth to participate, although currently the expectation is around 3,000.
“We’ve always had sport in our First Nations, (but) we didn’t have an avenue to display it,” Sanderson said. “Or a venue to actually bring people together to do it.”
Sanderson said the goal of the games goes beyond just the five days they will take place, next July.
“The purpose of the games is to give an avenue for First Nations athletes to compete and then to hopefully use it as a stepping stone to compete in the mainstream games, so that they can go further, like the Western Summer games, the Canada Summer games and, you never know, the Olympics.”
Today, Source for Sports officially introduces their partnership with the games and their line of clothing, sporting the new logo at 4 p.m. at the games office in the Gateway Mall.