Prince Albert benefits from Sask. Winter Games, locals say

People in Prince Albert say the recent Saskatchewan Winter Games will provide benefits to the community for some time.
Sophie Tesar practises in Prince Albert. Gymnastics is one of the sports that will benefit from the community having hosted the Saskatchewan Winter Games. (Ryan Pilon/CBC)

People in Prince Albert say the recent Saskatchewan Winter Games will provide benefits to the community for some time.

The games, which took place Feb. 16 to Feb. 22, attracted athletes, coaches and visitors from across the province.

According to Prince Albert Tourism, early estimates are that the games injected some $2.5 million into the community.

"There were a number of people in this city this past week that, had we not hosted the games, may not have considered coming here," Jayne Remenda, the executive director of Prince Albert Tourism, told CBC News. "By putting our best face forward that week was also a way to encourage them to revisit the community in the future."

Sports clubs also benefited from the games, in a tangible way, through upgrades to facilities and equipment.

"We're very excited about the new equipment," Bryce Elliott, a gymnastics coach, said. "The beam that we've got is something our girls desperately needed. It means more time for the athletes on the equipment that they'll be competing on, less standing around and waiting during practice."

As part of the support for the host city, the Saskatchewan Games Council provides a grant of up to $125,000 for improvements associated with the event. The funding must be matched by the host city's organizing committee.

"It's a great opportunity for communities to develop facilities and fulfil capital needs," Al Dyer, chairman of the organizing committee, said. "We've provided a great legacy for sports club in our city."

Examples of benefits from the Sask. Winter Games:

  • Air Pistol:  10 returning target systems and targets.
  • Alpine Skiing:  Netting; Gates; Bibs.
  • Badminton:  Nets.
  • Biathlon:  6 air rifles; bibs.
  • Cross Country Skiing (and Biathlon): Improvements at Little Red River Park; Bibs.
  • Curling: Ice scraper; Refurbishing of ice area,
  • Figure Skating:  Sound system (at the Dave G. Steuart Arena); Judges platform.
  • Gymnastics:  High Bar.
  • Hockey:  Dressing room improvements at Dave G. Steuart Arena; Sound system at Kinsmen Arena.
  • Judo: Weight scales; score clocks.
  • Snowboard:  Feature added for big air and rail competition; snow fence; landscape work.
  • Speed Skating: Additional mats and storage.
  • Synchronized Swimming:  Sound System at venue.
  • Table Tennis: 5 table tennis tables.
  • Wrestling: 2 wrestling mats.


With files from CBC's Ryan Pilon