Track and field day kicks off 2017 Indian Summer Games

Children from First Nations across New Brunswick will take part in the annual Indian Summer Games next week but the action got underway in Fredericton Wednesday with the track and field event.

Kingsclear First Nation hosts week long event

Here's a look in at the track and field day in lead up to the 2017 Indian Summer Games. It's being hosted by Kingsclear First Nation next week. 1:05

Children from First Nations across New Brunswick will take part in the annual Indian Summer Games next week but the action got underway in Fredericton Wednesday with the track and field event. 

Brandy Polchies says the Indian Summer Games keep children active and bring First Nations communities together. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

The 2017 event is being hosted by the Kingsclear First Nation. Coordinator Brandy Polchies said the games are a way to bring First Nations together and to keep youth between the ages of five and 19 active.

"As you can see, it's wonderful. I love seeing this many First Nations people getting together." 

Xavier Ward and Preston Francis say taking part in the Indian Summer Games is fun. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

Xavier Ward and Preston Francis of the Eel Ground First Nation were two athletes taking part.

"It's just loads of fun," said 11-year-old Xavier, who has been taking part in the games since he was five years old.

"There's shot put, there's jumping, there's track and field...I guess it's just fun." 

Preston agreed it was a fun event to take part in and was happy his friend was splashing him with water to keep him cool.

Ir's time for a selfie at the Indian Summer Games. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

Polchies said the games, which were a big thing in the 1980s, were brought back in 2010 through Aboriginal Sport and Recreation. 

"They helped us as First Nation communities to set it up and bring these events to our First Nation athletes." 

An athlete gets ready to make his jump. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

Polchies said for the past few years the track and field event has been held the week before the games because of the number of athletes taking part. 

The Indian Summer Games run from Aug. 7 to 11 and will be on the UNB campus, Kingsclear First Nation and Mactaquac Provincial Park. 

Racers prepare for a quick start at the Indian Summer Games. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

With files from Kirk Pennell