They are helping grow the new generation of the community.
© Herald photo by Jodi Schellenberg
Al Dyer of the Saskatchewan Winter Games committee shakes Dan Kirby’s hand after Conexus announced their support of the games on Tuesday afternoon.
On Tuesday, the Saskatchewan Winter Games committee announced the Prince Albert Conexus will be a major sponsor of the games in February 2014. It will mark the 40th anniversary of the Saskatchewan Winter Games and the 11th time the games will be held in their four-year cycle.
“We are pleased to welcome Conexus as a major sponsor to the Saskatchewan Winter Games,” chair of the organizing committee Al Dyer said. “Conexus, as you know, has a long history of providing community support for these large events.”
The games are a significant event for many young athletes in the province, Dyer explained, which is why corporate sponsorship is very important.
“It is a great stepping stone for them as they move on in their athletic careers,” Dyer said. “Although many of them it will be their pinnacle of their athletic career but for many of the athletes competing, they will go on to national events, international events and we are very pleased we are able to host them here. It is about developing athletes, the games are about making sure they have an experience they will always remember, that they have a competitive event and go home with fond memories of our (games).”
The operating budget for the games is over $1.5 million, so the sponsorship from Conexus will help them in making the games the best possible event.
“We do receive moneys from the Saskatchewan Games Council, SaskSport, but that is only a small portion, a very significant portion but not to the extent of what we needed in terms of our budget,” Dyer said. “We do rely on community corporate sponsors for making sure our event is financially successful and we are very appreciative of the support Conexus has provided for us.”
Conexus has deep roots in the communities its serves throughout the province, Dan Kirby VP of retail services for Conexus said.
“We recognize the importance that sports and education play in the building our youth’s skills and abilities,” Kirby said. “Prince Albert is a great venue to showcase the efforts of our province’s best young athletes, especially since many of the sports they will compete in are the backbone of Saskatchewan communities like Prince Albert during the long winter months.”
Curling is one of the main sports Kirby said is a cornerstone of community in the region.
“It is no coincidence we will be sponsoring the curling venue and no winter sport more symbolizes the coming together of community than curling,” Kirby said. “As always, Conexus wants to be part of that budding community.”
They are proud to have the financial institute come on board as a corporate sponsor.
“I just want to express my appreciation on behalf of the board for Conexus coming on board as a sponsor,” Dyer said. “We are really looking forward to their support, not only from the financial perspective but they also provide a great level of volunteers also. We look forward to working with them in the future.”
Volunteers are also a huge part of making the games a success, he said.
“That is one of the critical areas because the games can’t happen without volunteers,” co-chair of volunteers Carol Soles said. “We need about 1,400 volunteers -- you can volunteer for four hours to as much as you would like to give.”
Those who want to volunteer can visit the games website at saskatchewangames.ca/winter to register.
“Prince Albert is very well known for its volunteerism and every event we have in Prince Albert is a success due to sponsors like Conexus and to the volunteers,” Soles said. “Please go to our website and volunteer.”
The committee will be continuing to look for more corporate sponsors in the coming weeks and months leading up to the games.
“We will of course continue to seek other sponsors as we move towards the games,” Dyer said. “Right now we are starting to get involved with a lot of the planning. We are obviously looking for more volunteers and corporate sponsors and we look forward to more announcements in the future.”
Conexus is also happy to help out with building young athletes.
“As we are watching our nation’s athletes in the Olympics this coming February, let’s not forget to cheer on the more than 2,000 Saskatchewan Winter Game participants who will be competing just as hard to represent their community, region and province as a whole,” Kirby said. “Let the countdown to the games begin.”