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Labrador Winter Games welcomes volunteers

The 2019 Labrador Winter Games is looking for volunteers.
The 2019 Labrador Winter Games is looking for volunteers. - John Graham

Labrador tradition depends on volunteer effort to make the event a success

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L.

The 2019 Labrador Winter Games are coming up fast. The games, which happen every three years, are scheduled for March 17-23. Craig Wallace, assistant games director for the event, said right now they’re looking for volunteers.

“The winter games is a huge event, over 400 athletes are coming in from all over Labrador representing their respective communities. To have an event of that magnitude happen for a week there’s a requirement to have a large number of people on the ground.”

He said in total they use about 600 volunteers and some have been trickling in, with many others promising to do so. They’ve had people from other communities to volunteer and some people take time off work to volunteer for the games.

They need people to be on committees, medical staff, event staff, people to direct traffic, and the list goes on. Basically, they can find something for anyone, Wallace said.

There’s still plenty of time to register but Wallace said because of the sheer number required it was better to start sooner rather than later.

Some events changed

The Labrador Winter Games, which started in 1983 sees communities from all across Labrador get together to compete in a variety of traditional and modern sports. Each community has a team and score points in the different events for the Labrador Cup.

Wallace said people seem to be excited to see the games and there will be some changes. In the 2016 games the dog sled race was a mandatory event and this time it’s an exhibition event.

“The way it was each community could only bring in one dog sled team,” Wallace said of the change. “Rigolet could only bring in one team, Makkovik could only bring in one team, and so on. But if Makkovik has five competitive dog teams and Rigolet has five competitive dog team that’s 10 team right there. As an exhibition sport all those teams can compete.”

The 2019 games will also see a 50+ snowshoe race and a road running race as new exhibition events. As always, some of the highlights of the games will be the EJ Broomfield Memorial Labrathon and the Northern Games.

“It celebrates the culture and heritage of the region,” Wallace said. “They’re all traditional skills people of Labrador years ago used as part of their everyday life.”

A full list of events and the volunteer registration form is available on their website at www.labradorwintergames.ca.

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