From August 12 to 19, Indigenous youth from across the province will meet at Rundle Park for the Alberta Indigenous Games, a jam-packed week full of competitive team sports, traditional games, special events, education and cultural connection.
This August marks the seventh edition of the games, which were first founded in 2009 by Allan Ross, an Indigenous teacher and coach who recognized a need for sports programming geared towards Indigenous youth. After attracting 400 athletes at the inaugural games in 2009, the event has steadily grown with each edition. And although Ross passed away from cancer in 2015, his goal of seeing thousands of Indigenous youth participate in the games has lived on, with over 2,000 youth expected in 2021.
This year’s games kicked off with the opening ceremonies at the Ice Palace in West Edmonton Mallon August 12. Athletic events will begin on August 13 in Rundle Park, with several other satellite locations across the city. Sporting events include lacrosse, basketball, soccer, softball, baseball and ball hockey across four age categories, as well as an opportunity on August 16 for youth to try sports like rugby sevens, beach volleyball, cross country running and hand games. Events on August 16 are free to register and participate in.
In addition to athletics, the Alberta Indigenous Games will also feature an entertainment stage, a talent show, barbecue and round dance, all before the medal ceremony and closing ceremony. There will also be scholarships being awarded, as well as an honorary ambassador program.
Registration for athletic events closed on August 5, but event details like locations and times can be accessed through the Alberta Indigenous Games’ website.