The 2018 Saskatchewan Winter Games, being hosted in North Battleford, are less than a month away.
The Games will run from February 18th to 24th and feature athletes, volunteers and coaches from around the province. Events will include classic winter sports such as skiing, hockey and skating as well as competitions in bowling, synchronized swimming and weightlifting.
Saskatchewan Games Council Executive Director Mark Bracken says North Battleford was chosen because it was ideal for the winter games.
“Having Table Mountain Alpine Ski and Snowboard Venue fifteen twenty minutes out of town. Blue Mountain as well is a great venue for cross country and biathlon. Those two outdoor venues are venues that capture four sports and are exceptional.”
Bracken also points to their new recreation centre and the eagerness of the community as other signs they were ready to host the games. He also said necessary upgrades to infrastructure are minimal during the winter games.
“We did provide them with a Saskatchewan Games Legacy Grant which is a $250,000 capital equipment grant. They have to match that in order to access. So really, there’s $500,000 dollars available for equipment and facility upgrades.”
North Battleford can expect an economic spin-off, albeit a smaller amount than previous games according to Bracken.
“In Estevan the economic spinoff of hosting the Saskatchewan summer games was seven million dollars. It probably won’t be that high for North Battleford because of less major capital development but still should have a significant to the community.”
Bracken adds that the games are an opportunity to “profile the community” of North Battleford and encourage people to visit the city.