Nfld. & Labrador

Reconnecting through sports, 72 older athletes converge in Nain

They were athletes in high school — and they're back in the game, decades later.

They were athletes in high school — and they're back in the game, decades later

The first-ever alumni sports-meet for Nunatsiavut communities kicked off in Nain on Thursday. (Nain's Bulletin Board/Facebook)

Athletes who made their mark in school sports will be gathering for a meet with a twist this weekend in Nain — although none of them are children. 

About 72 athletes from across Nunatsiavut, on Labrador's northern coast, are gathering in Nain for an alumni meet. All of them are at least 35 years old. 

For the past 40 years, high school students from the five communities of Nunatsiavut have been coming together for a weekend packed full of competition, co-operation and — most importantly — community.

"I thought it would be really great just to have people reconnect and get active again," said organizer Vyann Andersen-Goudie, who wanted to revive the spirit of sportsmanship that thrives among high school students. 

In the end it's not about competing at the level that we once did, but it's more about having fun and just reminiscing about the old days.- Vyann Andersen-Goudie

She said the thought came from reminiscing about the past.

"I meet with people over the years that you kind of grown up with that live in different communities," she said.

"Somehow you get on the topic of 'wouldn't it be great to have a sports-meet and see what we can do,'" she said in an interview with CBC's Labrador Morning

The alumni sports-meet, the first of its kind, kicked off on Thursday.

Athletes from the Inuit communities of Nain, Hopedale, Postiville, Makkovik and Rigolet are competing, together with competitors from the Innu community of Natuashish.

The Rigolet Eagles are one of six teams participating in the first ever alumni sports-meet. (Rigolet's Bulletin Board/Facebook)

"There's lots of excitement in the communities," said Andersen-Goudie. 

"Through social media, I see people training for volleyball and cross-country running. I've been told that it's inspired people to get active, people are really happy to reconnect with old teammates," she said.

The weekend of sports will end on Monday.

Although there's a lot of support for the sports-meet, Goudie can't say if there will be a second one in the future.

"I really hope that in the end it's not about competing at the level that we once did, but it's more about having fun and just reminiscing about the old days," she said.

"If in the end you walk away saying 'that was fun and I had a great laugh and people enjoyed watching' then I think it will be a success."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador 

About the Author

Tyler Mugford

Journalist

Tyler Mugford is a journalist working with CBC in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

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