“I’m pleased to announce that the City of Lloydminster will be the host community for the 2024 Saskatchewan Summer Games.”
As Saskatchewan Games Council Chairperson Amber Holland’s pronouncement filled City Council chamber on Thursday, the room reverberated with applause as officials had assembled for the formal announcement and the passing of the baton from the 2020/21 committee to the team Co-chaired by Aaron Rawlake who will move the planning forward.
“The baton was a big part of my life growing up as a Summer Games athlete involved in track and field. We got off to a phenomenal start in 2017 under the leadership of Kevin Kusch and Cindy Rekimowich. Thank you for everything you did. Our relay team is in the lead. We are absolutely so far ahead because of your leadership and the work that you did.”
Rawlake noted that the planning committee would benefit from the work laid by the 2020/21 team as they move forward and look to recruit community volunteers and build support.
Officials estimate there will be need for some 1,100 volunteers to host the weeklong event that’s being planned for August 2024.
Mayor Gerald Aalbers shared his excitement as the City gets a second chance to host the games after the first effort was scuttled by the pandemic. He repeated the sentiment of building on the previous work.
“We are going to build on the foundation that the 2020/21 games committee started. We will have people back on that committee again. There will be new people. There will be new energy. There will be renewed energy and when you can combine those energies with our City’s energy, we will deliver superior games.”
Aalbers pointed out the City has a tradition and as well the infrastructure to have major events. He looked forward to hosting the province and thanked the Saskatchewan Games Council for granting the games once again to Lloydminster.
Chairperson Amber Holland recognized that the last two years has been a period of going without many of the events and activities that bring meaning to life. From the athletes perspective, she shared it was important to perform your talent at the highest level and a multi-sport event created an opportunity to meet and interact with athletes in other disciplines as well.
Holland channeled her curling wisdom to encourage the teamwork of the planning committee, as they get down to the work ahead.
“You do throw a rock individually. Once you let that rock go, there’s multiple things that have to happen to make the perfect shot. I think that’s exactly what Lloydminster will have to do here. We have given them the rock. They’re going to take it and they are going to throw it down that ice, but they have a great team behind them, to do whatever they need to do to execute the perfect shot.”
Co-chairing the 2024 Games are Wendy Plandowski and Aaron Rawlake.
The Saskatchewan Games Council will provide $250,000 in matching grant funding to Lloydminster that will go towards capital projects and equipment as well as a $420,000 operating grant. The City will also benefit from upgraded facilities and new sporting equipment.
The sporting disciplines taking centre stage include archery, athletics, baseball, basketball, canoe kayak, golf, rugby 7s (female), soccer, softball (female), tennis, triathlon, swimming, Special Olympics swimming, volleyball, and wheelchair basketball. A final list of participating sporting events will be released later this year.