Team Saskatchewan athletes preparing for North American Indigenous Games this summer IG News

IG news Update,

Thousands of athletes look to compete, have fun and make memories this summer when they compete in this year’s North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) in Halifax.

Keeland Thomas, 14, from Coote First Nation, Sask. Who will compete in baseball for Team Saskatchewan at the NAIG is eager to experience this massive sporting event that brings together thousands of athletes to compete in 16 different sports.

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“It’s an honor and (it’s) a blessing and it’s very special to me to make the team,” Thomas said. “It’s really important to me (because) it’s a big role in making the team … it feels good.”

Thomas has been an active baseball player since the age of four. He has competed in AAA ball since he was 11 years old, and to this day, he practices three times a week to do all the qualifying training for his team. Thomas hopes this experience will be an important stepping stone for his future.

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“I see myself playing ball in the states (and) going to university to play college ball,” he said. “I want to get my education and (play) the sport I love.”

It’s the type of motivation Mike Tanton loves to see from the athletes they experience playing in the NAIG.

Tanton said, “I think the biggest takeaway is how eye-opening an experience and a life-changing experience it’s going to be for young people playing at such a high level(et) international multi-sport event.” Is.”

“Our biggest success is seeing how many kids go on after that and use this as a part of their journey and continue with their post-secondary education and continue to give back to their communities.”

Tanton is Team Saskatchewan’s chef de mission for seven years now. Tanton has been a part of the NAIG since the mid-90s, when they began competing in the sport of basketball. Since then, she has had an ongoing involvement in NAIG as a volunteer for Team Saskatchewan.

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“We always got kicked out by the American teams. They really love their basketball over there,” he said. “Some of the relationships I developed with him I still have today. I’d look at some of the people I played with…. Now our kids were playing against each other or with each other, and it’s just a full circle moment. Feels good like that.,

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In all, the 535 people who make up the Saskatchewan team for 2023 are heading to the NAIG this summer. There are a total of 440 athletes and 95 coaches. It will cost $1.7 million to move Team Saskatchewan to the Games in July.

Organizers haven’t met their spending goal, but they’re about halfway there. Tanton said the organizers of Team Saskatchewan are looking for a major sponsorship to meet their budgeted costs.

“I am very optimistic as well as I have a positive outlook on how things should turn out for us. And I am hopeful that we will achieve everything we need.

For more information about NAIG, visit Team Saskatchewan’s NAIG website.

Click to play video: 'North American Indigenous Games seeks thousands of volunteers for 2023 event'

North American Indigenous Games seek thousands of volunteers for 2023 event

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