Inaugural Alberta Masters Games roll into Rocky Mountain House
More than 1,000 athletes from across the province have converged on Rocky Mountain House and Clearwater County for the first-ever Alberta Masters Games.
“Masters is 35 [years old] and up,” explained Claudette Larocque who is competing in golf. “Some people think that it’s seniors but it’s not.”
The three-day event will see athletes compete in 12 different sports.
“I’m here more for fun and not so nervous with the competition and so forth,” said Larocque, who also competed as a youth in the Alberta Summer Games.
Planning for the games began nearly two years ago and $1 million in renovations has been spent on improving existing sports facilities in the town.
“The different legacy projects around the facilities are just going to increase the beauty of the facilities,” said Rocky Mountain House Mayor Tammy Burke.
Burke added that everything about hosting the games has been positive, adding community spirit has sparked within the region during the lead-up.
“It’s just so exciting to see the entire community pulling together and making this all happen,” Burke said.
More than 600 volunteers from across David Thompson Country — which includes Rocky Mountain House and Clearwater County — stepped up to help in various capacities with the games.
“We had people that just walked in out of the blue and wanted to volunteer and just had these enormous skill sets,” said Gord McCrindle, host committee chair of the games.
“The overall legacy of the games I think is just the bringing together the community,” McCrindle said.
“How the business sponsors of our community came together, how other people in tough economic times have just donated stuff to us hand over fist, is just amazing and overwhelming.”
The games are also expected to have a positive economic impact.
“We get to show people what we have here and in the surrounding area,” said Jim Duncan, Reeve of Clearwater County.
“It’s an opportunity for businesses and the people that provide services here and tourism to have an opportunity to show what they have as well. People will hopefully come back and visit us again.”
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