Enthusiasm for the 2016 Arctic Winter Games reached a peak in the NWT last weekend as athletes traveled to the North and South Slave Regions for the first round of tryouts for the international, multi-sport tournament, set to take place Mar. 6 to 11, 2016.
Futsal, volleyball and bantam hockey players, as well as cross country skiers, headed to Yellowknife to show their stuff, with dreams of traveling to the games in Nuuk, Greenland driving their efforts.
Meanwhile, a little farther south in Hay River, biathletes on skis and snowshoes trudged their way through the Hay River Cross Country Ski Club & Nordic Centre.
Simultaneously, basketball players practiced their layups down the road, hoping their moves would land them a spot on the team.
A few hours farther down the road in Fort Smith, girls’ hockey players hit the ice of the town’s gleaming, refurbished arena.
The next round of tryouts will take place from Jan. 14 to 16, with Arctic sports and snowshoeing trials in Inuvik, wrestling in Hay River, table tennis in Fort Providence, Dene games in Fort Smith, and badminton and snowboarding tryouts in Yellowknife.
NWT cultural delegates named
In addition to the plethora of athletes, coaches, chaperones and mission staff, the NWT will also be represented in Nuuk with cultural performing delegates, selected by Sport North earlier this month.
Anne and Elizabeth Thomas and Sophie and Grace Clark make up the Double Treble Fiddlers, two sets of twins from Yellowknife who play traditional fiddle tunes. The lifelong friends have been playing fiddle together since they were eight years old.
Performer Tiffany Ayalik of Yellowknife will co-chaperone and work with the NWT youth performers during a workshop program in Nuuk.
During the games, the Team NWT performers will present and collaborate with other cultural delegations at the Katuaq Cultural Centre, among other venues.