(Photo by Jesse Boily)Jesse Boily

The Alberta Winter Games (AWG) will be in Grande Prairie Feb. 16-19.

More than 2,400 athletes and coaches are expected to come to the region and compete in over 18 different events. 

“It’s like a mini-Olympics,” said Lisa Kerkhof, 2024 AWG games manager. 

The games will kick off with an opening ceremony on Friday night (Feb. 16), with athletes aged 11-17 coming from across the province.

Kerkhof says about 200 local athletes will also be competing. 

Sports included are alpine skiing, archery, artistic gymnastics, artistic swimming, badminton, biathlon, cross-country skiing, curling, fencing, figure skating, freestyle skiing, hockey, judo, ringette, snowboarding, speed skating, volleyball and wrestling.

“We’re using almost every recreation venue within the city and county,” said Kerkhof.

Athletes from out of town will stay in local schools and be transported around the region to compete in their sport. 

“It’ll be a great economic driver for the city,” said Kerkhof, who noted that the games brings not only the athletes but families and friends. She expects most of the hotels in the city will be full on the weekend of the games.

AWG needs volunteers: Kerkhof says they have about 60 per cent of the 1,500 volunteers required.

“Each sport will have very specific volunteer needs, so there’s sort of a niche market for volunteers in those areas, but then we need general volunteers,” she said.

Volunteers to help with courtesy cars, chaperones, people working souvenir booths, and admissions are among some of the needed jobs to be filled. 

She also noted they are trying to accommodate volunteers of all ages and that some volunteers have asked if they can bring their children.

“It might mean that mom is bringing their child with them, and they’re going to work the penalty box at the hockey rink; we’re trying to accommodate that as best as possible.”

She said clean-up crews will also be needed to ensure that things are ready for the athletes, including preparing the sleeping arrangements in the schools. 

Tickets are now on sale for the opening ceremonies as well as day and weekend passes. 

The passes will allow entry into different venues to view various sporting events. 

For more information on tickets or volunteering, visit 2024awg.com. 

By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jan 18, 2024 at 09:26

This item reprinted with permission from   Town & Country News   Beaverlodge, Alberta

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