Nunavut should enourage more athletic training


Northern Canada’s most famous twins, the Firth sisters, represented Canada at four Olympic Winter Games, in 1972, 1976, 1980 and 1984.

These marvelous girls, born in Aklavik, were part of a very successful sporting program, TEST, the Territorial Experimental Ski Training Program.

This very successful program faded away like so many before it, through lack of continuity.

It’s sad to see that Canada’s native people are not represented as athletes at the current Olympic games. The Arctic Winter Games are important and do enable Arctic athletes to travel and experience a high level of competition, but the AWG is not in the same league as the Olympics.

It has been almost 30 years since these remarkable girls have represented the North and its people at those international competitions. They brought honour and glory to their community and to the North.

Iqaluit, like so many other communities, is hockey-oriented. Millions have been spent on facilities, air fares and training camps. Fortunately, some well-intentioned people have encouraged speedskating, which has met with great success.

There are so many other activities that could be developed with a little effort on the part of the City of Iqaluit’s recreation department. A ski tow could be built on any of the many hills in the area. As for snowboarding, it would not cost much to create a half-pipe and give the kids a chance to become skilled in this very exciting activity.

Build a golf driving range. There are loads of areas within the community and all that is needed are some nets to let people enjoy their practice swings. Nets are not expensive. It was a group of people in town who created their own small golf course in the West 40 area.

These facilities are not difficult to build. They don’t need a staff to maintain them. It would help get rid of a lot of negative energy.

How about beach volleyball? A tennis court? There are so many things that could be built without bankrupting the city.

Such facilities would give youth an opportunity to show their stuff, to enjoy themselves, and, who knows, to follow in the steps of the remarkable Firth twins.

Bryan Pearson

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