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Volunteers needed for Coaldale’s upcoming Southern Alberta Summer Games

Posted on March 14, 2024 by Sunny South News

By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News

Athletes across southern Alberta have patiently waited for the return of the Southern Alberta Summer Games (SASG) since 2019. This summer, thanks to the Town of Coaldale’s successful bid to host the 2024 games, locals can revel in the excitement, too.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SASG did not run from 2020-2023. In 2019, Pincher Creek hosted the 50th anniversary of the games, which brought out thousands of spectators and participants, and nearly 400 volunteers. Coaldale’s SASG Coordinator, Mark McIntosh, said this year’s games will no doubt require “a couple hundred” volunteers over the course of the four-day event, with sporting events and cultural activities scheduled to take place at various locations in and around Coaldale from July 3-6, 2024.

Without volunteers the games, “simply do not happen,” said McIntosh.

In addition to individual sporting events, volunteers will also be needed to help carry out other important roles such as relating to registration, First Aid, social events, facilities and equipment, concession, ceremonies, results, and signage.

With the exception of the beach volleyball event, which will be held at Stafford Lake, and the Equestrian events, which will take place at Scott’s Barn, the remaining sporting events will be held in the town of Coaldale. 

In addition to the Town’s brand new recreation centre, which will be unveiled to the public this summer, other sporting events will be held at Kate Andrews High School track, the quads, arena, community centre, pool, and various gyms around town. The Owl’s Nest Campground will host mountain biking events. 

Over 2,000 athletes are expected to take part in the 2024 games based on data collected in previous years. This influx of athletes, volunteers, attendees, and supporters to the Town and surrounding area will also be an opportunity for businesses in Coaldale and Lethbridge County to serve a greater volume of customers. 

McIntosh explained, “Most events run for at least like two days, so we’re hoping people stay in the area. They will be traveling from out of town,” adding businesses, restaurants and hotels and campsites in Coaldale and Lethbridge County should receive, “a big boost,” from all the activities. McIntosh said he hopes hosting the SASG will be a catalyst for visitors to discover some of the unique attractions such as the Gem of the West Museum, and the Birds of Prey Foundation. 

“The games (are) really built on sponsorship and volunteerism. And even with sponsorship, and not just necessarily monetary but any sort of in-kind support that can be brought to the games.”

“The Southern Alberta Summer Games is a chance to come together as a community and as southern Alberta and it really depends on community members coming together and spreading the word and volunteering,” adding athletes have an important role to play, too. “A huge thing would be just promoting your sport. If you’re a pickleball player, spread the word and try to build some traction for your sport,” McIntosh added. 

A finalized list of confirmed sporting events is expected to be released in the coming weeks. Volunteers are able to indicate their areas of interest and preferred sports as well as their availability on the registration form. 

McIntosh said those interested in getting involved are encouraged to fill out and submit the volunteer registration form available online at https://southernalbertasummergames.ca/content/volunteers, or reach out to Coaldale’s Southern Alberta Summer Games Coordinator, Mark McIntosh, via email at mark.mcIntosh@coaldale.ca. 

Each year, with the exception of 2020-2023, the Games are hosted by a different southern Alberta community. Athletes from 13 different regions in southern Alberta participate in around 20 events in addition to a variety of cultural events. 

More information about the objectives of the SASG can be found at https://southernalbertasummergames.ca/content/history-of-the-games. 

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