Thousands of young athletes will gather in Airdrie on Friday to take part in the 2020 Alberta Winter Games.
The games are billed as a way to celebrate athletes between the ages of 11 and 17 and provide them with an opportunity to showcase their talents in a wide range of sports.
Athletes will compete in everything from archery and badminton, to volleyball and wrestling at 15 different venues in Airdrie and the surrounding communities.
Spokesperson Sheri Wilson said for most of the 2,800 athletes participating, it will be the first time they’ve ever competed in multi-sport games.
“It gives them that opportunity to understand what a multi-sport game is,” Wilson explained.
“They’re not just going to their own hockey tournament, they’re going to games where there are 19 other sports. They can watch judo, gymnastics, ringette — a whole bunch of different sports.”
The first-ever Alberta Winter Games were held in 1974 and thousands of youth have participated in communities across the province since then.
“The Alberta Games program is definitely a development program,” Wilson said. “We have over 50 Alberta Games athletes that have gone on to compete at Olympics and win medals.”
The 2020 Alberta Winter Games run from Feb. 14 – 17.
Tickets are available for purchase online, and can then be swapped out for wristbands at Genesis Place and Balzac Craft Brewing Company in Airdrie. Kids ages six and under are free.
The 2020 Alberta Summer Games will then be held in Lethbridge July 23-26.
Watch the opening ceremonies live online on Friday, Feb. 14
The opening ceremonies for the 2020 Alberta Winter Games will be held at Airdrie City Hall on Main Street from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14.
“It’s going to be a really fun, spectacular way to start off these games for these kids,” Wilson said.
Event organizers warn attendees to dress warmly as the ceremonies are outside.
For those who can’t make it in person, Global News will live stream the opening ceremonies online in this story post.