High-cost hockey’s not the only form of recreation

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Hockey, hockey, hockey. Millions of dollars are spent on this national pass-time in our community.

But it might come as a surprise to the recreation department that there are citizens who do not play or even like the game.

However, much of the department’s budget is earmarked for this very expensive activity.

It’s true that the ice surfaces are used for more sedate programs and the speed skating program has been a huge success, but isn’t it about time that some effort was made to support other activities in this winter wonderland?

During the 1960s, a cross-country ski program was introduced in Inuvk. Much of the effort came from one individual who saw in the kids in that community a need and some talent.

The net result of this work was the superstart twins, the Firth sisters. They became world champions in that sport and continued to hold that position for years, along with some other brilliant northern kids.

Iqaluit has a large contingent of smart, bright, strong youth, who should have the opportunity to enjoy winter and summer activities: downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and in the summer, tennis or golf.

None of these would cost anything near the expense of running two arenas, with their staff and huge power bills.

Some years ago, a group of young people anxious to try their hands at golf built their own golf course. A similar group built their own basketball court across from the Northmart store.

There are many locations in the community where a downhill ski slope could be created with an all important tow line. Snowboarding is fun and a tow line could make it more fun for very little cost.

A golf driving range only needs some nets for very little cost. What about a beach volleyball court? Some sand and a net, at a very, very low cost. Many years ago, go-carting was a very popular activity here.

People should lobby their city councillors, write to the mayor and bring about some fun, low-cost activities.

Bryan Pearson
Iqaluit


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