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Mr. Speaker, I want to recognize the athletes, coaches, managers, and mission staff who will be representing Team NT at the 2022 Canada Summer Games being held in the Niagara Region of Ontario from August 6 to 21. The Canada Games provides our nation’s high-performance athletes with venues to compete in hopes of continuing their athletic journey to Team Canada for the Olympics or other international events.
Every two years, the Canada Games showcases athletes at the highest level of national competition, alternating between summer and winter sports. The 2022 Canada Summer Games Host Society and the Niagara Region will host nearly 5,000 participants, including approximately 135 participants with Team NT competing in nine different sports such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, swimming, tennis, athletics, beach volleyball, and golf.
The COVID-19 pandemic altered many aspects of life over the past two and a half years, including sport competitions. In some ways, the Arctic Winter Games, the North American Indigenous Games, and the Canada Summer Games have all been impacted.
Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will take time and will be different for each community and organization. However, events like the Canada Summer Games certainly help our athletes regain the competitiveness they had pre-pandemic.
The Government of the Northwest Territories is very proud to support our team at the Canada Summer Games through financial support and a range of other programs that support athlete, coach, and officials’ development at the local, regional, territorial, and national levels.
In addition to Team NT, MACA is pleased to support the Youth Ambassador Program once again, which will see us bring youth volunteers to the Canada Summer Games. The Youth Ambassador Program offers a guided and structured volunteer experience for youth at major territorial, national, and international events. Participants work to develop life and job skills, as well as build the confidence necessary to deal with some of life’s challenges.
The program has successfully identified 21 youth from 10 communities who will travel and volunteer at the 2022 Canada Summer Games. We have four participants who just completed the Youth Ambassador Program: Virtual Edition, as well as 17 youth who successfully completed the 2019 NWT Youth Ambassador Orientation Event but missed out on their volunteer placements due to cancellation of the games. All youth are between the ages of 16-22, and they are the role models and leaders of tomorrow.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to wish this year’s Youth Ambassadors all the best on this exciting volunteer experience. I would like to recognize the following Program leaders for their important work in supporting the Youth Ambassadors: Ashley Gillis; Lauren Modeste; Conan Donahue; Alicia Korol, and Kyle Donavan.
Mr. Speaker, I also want to recognize the many volunteers who are responsible for supporting Team NT including the Sport North Federation and all the territorial sport organizations responsible for selecting and managing the team. Their contributions are significant and an important part of building a healthier Northwest Territories population.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, I wish the very best to our Team NT leaders, the Chef de Mission, Ms. Rita Mercredi and Assistant Chef de Mission, Mr. Damon Crossman, along with the rest of the Mission staff, who are responsible for managing Team NT and all of Team NT while at the Canada Summer Games.
Play Fair! Have Fun! I sincerely hope you all enjoy this truly wonderful experience.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.