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  • Vermilion Voice

Canada Games Torch Relay

Dr. Richard Starke carrying the MNP Canada Games Torch in Lloydminster on January 9. Photo Angela Mouly

The first ever MNP Canada Games torch Relay travelled through Lloydminster on January 9, followed by a celebration at the Cervus Sports Centre. Torch bearers in Lloydminster included Tyson Armstrong, Haley Blain, Michael Diachuk, Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Rosemarie Falk, Cosette Marriott, Glenn Stang, and Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA Dr. Richard Starke. The Canada Winter Games are the largest multi-sport and cultural event for youth in Canada, and the largest event to be hosted in Red Deer’s history. From February 15 - March 3, the eyes of the nation will be on Red Deer, as they host the 2019 Canada Winter Games. The games will feature over 150 events in 19 sports and a major arts and cultural festival; the city will host up to 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches as well as more than 100,000 spectators. Keeping with tradition, on October 4, 2018, the Roly McLenahan Torch was lit from the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill with guest of honour, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport. From Ottawa, the torch has journeyed across Canada for the first time in the 51 year history of the Canada Games. MLA Dr. Richard Starke said that he was thrilled to have been part of the torch relay; because in September of 2014 when he was the Minister of Alberta Tourism, Recreation and Culture, he was the one who announced that Red Deer would be the host city. “The Canada Winter Games are a really important goal for our young Canadian athletes. Many of our current national, world or Olympic athletes and champions can go back to these games as being an important stepping stone. They were a big motivator for athletes that I coached in speed skating; it’s absolutely huge. Many of the facilities used for the games in 1995 in Grand Prairie, are still being actively used as sports facilities. It is a positive thing for Canadians to support the endeavors of our young athletes. In active living exploits, whether a competitor or not, doing something healthy is a positive. When coaching, we often used the phrase, ‘Sport is an apprenticeship for life,’ and athletes learned how to win, how to lose, the rules, and how to respect an official. Many of my speed skaters still contact me to let me know how excellent the lessons they learned have been. In this constituency, I see participation in a wide variety of sports at the high school, collegiate, and club levels. Speed skating in Lloydminster is still very active, and sports are ongoing in Vermilion and other communities all around the constituency,” said Dr. Starke. Overall, everyone was thrilled to have the opportunity to see the torch, and be a part of the celebration. The torch will arrive in Red Deer for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2019 Canada Winter Games on February 15.

Lloydminster torchbearers. Photo submitted

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