Saskatchewan Winter Games finds boosters on city council

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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2014 Saskatchewan Winter Games chairperson Al Dyer speaks to the city’s elected officials at this week’s public forum council meeting. 

With fewer than 20 days to go until the Saskatchewan Winter Games begin, Prince Albert’s elected officials are doing some last minute boosting.

 

At this week’s city council meeting, Coun. Ted Zurakowski and Mayor Greg Dionne headed an effort to get a positive message out in advance of the games.

“Put a smile on and say hello,” Dionne said. “Say thank you for coming to our community. For the whole week, put a smile on.”

After the meeting, Dionne said that he’s taking the games’ entire duration off of work so that he can volunteer throughout, between Feb. 16 and Feb. 22.

“I’m going to be a unique volunteer because I’m not fussy about what I’m going to do,” he said, noting that this is what the games need more of -- floaters willing to lend a hand wherever necessary.

“We’re still looking for volunteers,” Saskatchewan Winter Games chairperson Al Dyer told city council. “We just want to encourage people to get on to the saskgames.ca/winter and register. IT takes about five or 10 minutes.

“We’re about 50 per cent of the way into registering.”

Calling the games a winning event for everyone involved, Zurakowski spoke after the meeting of its lasting impact.

Also serving as a games board member, Zurakowski has joined Dionne in pitching volunteerism during recent council meetings.

“It’s huge for our community,” he said of the games.

“We are going to be full of athletes, coaches and participants in the very near future. It’s going to be huge for our businesses. The hotels will be full and a lot of money spent and a lot of competition from athletes all over the province.

“We have to be ready -- we will be ready and we’ll put on a good show because of the effort of our volunteers.”

Put a smile on and say hello ... Say thank you for coming to our community. For the whole week, put a smile on. Greg Dionne

Anticipating an economic impact of about $1 million, Zurakowski noted that more than 2,000 athletes are expected alongside an additional 5,000 additional visitors.

“A few dollars spent in restaurants and hotels,” he understated with a smirk.

Although the city has given the games a financial boost by approving up to $50,000 worth of in-kind facility use, the games are more than covering the city’s contribution with legacy improvements -- renovations or additions to city facilities that will last long after the games are over.

“We’re extremely pleased that we’ll be able to provide those legacies back to the city,” Dyer said.

With the countdown now at 17 days as of today (Thursday), the pressure’s on for organizers to fill out the ranks with volunteers.

The Saskatchewan Winter Games website is online at Saskgames.ca/winter, where volunteers can register. 

Legacy improvements

$34,000 in trail improvements at Little Red River Park

$9,000 in snowboarding equipment, such as a rail

$50,000 for speed skating mats

$30,000 for wrestling mats

$21,000 in netting and gates for alpine skiing

$18,000 for an ice scraper at the Golf and Curling Club

$21,000 for sound systems at the Steuart Arena and Kinsmen Arena

$5,000 for two weight scales for judo events and score clocks

$4,000 in new table tennis tables

 

 

 

Organizations: Golf and Curling Club

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Little Red River Park

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