Alberta Indigenous Games give athletes opportunity to shine

More than 5,000 athletes are taking part in 18 sports as part of this year’s Alberta Indigenous Games being held in Edmonton.

The competition started Aug. 9 and ends on Saturday, Aug. 19.

Jacob Hendy, chief executive officer of the event, says what he enjoys the most about the Games is watching different First Nations come together.

He described an under-15 girls softball game in which a dispute over player eligibility was taken into the players’ hands and decided by a dance-off.

“The girls were together holding hands and dancing together, then they did a dance-off with two girls from each team doing a powwow dance-off. It was the coolest act of sportsmanship,” Hendy said. “It shows the kids just want to play and have fun.”

Hendy said the Games are an opportunity for kids who would otherwise not get the chance to compete to show their desire to play and to showcase their skills.

“A lot of these kids are shy, lots of them don’t feel comfortable playing in leagues where they live, maybe because they’re indigenous, maybe because there’s racism that still goes on,” Hendy said. “They want to feel comfortable in a safe environment and when they come out we have beginner pools and competitive pools.”

The first round of competition ends Sunday with seven other sports beginning play on Monday.

Originally Appeared Here

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