Trans student talks making the football team and being 'one of the guys'
HALIFAX, N.S. - A stack of practice football gear might be made of padding and a jersey, but Kenny Cooley sees a milestone.
The Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay is in full swing preparing for the Labrador Winter Games coming up in March, an event that Mayor Jamie Snook said brings the whole region together.
“One thing I like to mention about the games is in many ways it’s almost like a come-home year,” Snook said. “It’s often referred to as the friendship games. There’s a lot of family connections between Goose Bay and the communities along the coast and in Labrador West as well. It really acts as a pretty fun event with a lot of camaraderie.”
The games have been around since 1983 and are held every three years in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Getting ready for the games is really an ongoing process in the town, involving about 600 volunteers. Snook said they’ve been busy for a while now, preparing the tracks and the arena for the various sporting events.
The 14 events are a mix of sports, old and new, including cross- country skiing and more traditional events like the One Foot High Kick.
“There’s a lot of tradition involved in the games,” Snook said. “A lot of the events are very local, in the sense that there will be snowmobile racing, dog sled racing and the Labrathon is always one of the most popular. There’s a huge cultural component to it.”
Each team can have 17 athletes and one co-ordinator, which Snook said makes things a little fairer for the smaller areas.
“By limiting it like that teams need to find people who can play ball hockey, dog sled racing, etc.,” he said. “For some of the larger areas it makes things more even. People have to be multi-talented in different sports.”
The age range of the entrants can vary a fair bit as well, Snook said. Since the events are so varied it allows for both young and old to participate, bringing the communities closer together.
A change the games brought in this year was to launch it on social media platforms. This is the first time they have tried that and Snook hopes it will expand their reach even more.
The games will be held from March 13th to the 19th and tickets are usually sold out so get them fast. For more information on the games visit http://www.labradorwintergames.ca. They can also be found on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.