Laura Gauthier annual volleyball tournament brings communities together
Tournament held in Rankin Inlet from May 5 to 7
Last weekend’s Laura Gauthier volleyball tournament in Rankin Inlet was a success, say those who put it together.
“It was a great turnout,” said Toota Tatty, one of the organizers.
Rankin Inlet hosts the tournament each year, with the dates this year being from May 5 to May 7. It is named in remembrance of Laura Gauthier, who died in 2000. Gauthier, originally from Pangnirtung, helped grow the volleyball community in Rankin Inlet, Tatty said.
“She really impacted a lot of people,” Tatty added.
The tournament brought teams from each region to Rankin Inlet to compete. There were 11 teams on the women’s side and seven on the men’s side.
Pangnirtung won on the women’s side, and Iqaluit on the men’s.
Communities that made the trip include Gjoa Haven, Iqaluit, Arviat, Pangnirtung and Naujaat.
The games themselves were intense, Tatty said, who also competed in the tournament.
“We were playing games that felt like the finals but we were just in the round robin so it was a lot fun,” she said.
Using a hockey arena instead of a gymnasium, the tournament was able to have both a men’s and women’s game go on in the same building at the same time. Doing so allowed crowds to stay in one place to watch all the games instead of moving around, Tatty said.
“It was a lot of fun to watch good volleyball all at the same time,” she said.
On the women’s side Pangnirtung’s Jane Nakashuk was the MVP and on the men’s side it was Iqaluit’s Jonah Oolayou.