The Alberta winter games showcase the skills and talents of young Albertans. The Winter Games were first introduced in 1976. The games highlight 20 sporting events including, Alpine skiing, archery, artistic gymnastics, Badminton, Biathlon, cross-country skiing, curling, fencing, figure skating, Futsal, Freestyle skiing, male and female hockey, Judo, Ringette, snowboarding, speed skating, synchronized swimming, volleyball, and wrestling. The games are for young people between the ages of 11 and 17. The last winter games were held in Fort Murray from February 16-19, 2018. The next scheduled games will be held in Airdrie in February 14-17, 2020.
To compete in the winter games, each athlete must qualify in zone playoffs. Zone playoffs are held well in advance of the games. This gives athletes a chance to complete training, know their competitors and develop strategies to be successful. Athletes must also meet the specific requirements for each sport. Alberta is divided into 8 zones and athletes are chosen to represent each zone. Each zone is assigned a color for easy identification. The zones are, Zone 1, sunny south represented by grey, Zone 2 Big county color brown, zone 3 Calgary color red zone 4 Parkland represented by orange zone 5 black gold/yellowhead represented by yellow zone 6 Edmonton color green zone 7 northeast color navy blue and zone 8 peace country represented by royal blue.
Benefits of the Winter games
• The games provide a chance for athletes to compete and gain valuable experience. It is important for athletes to compete to develop their skills and talent. This is especially important for young underdeveloped talent.
• The Winter games allow persons to learn more about Alberta’s culture. The games provide an opportunity for hosting provinces to showcase their people and culture. Several events are held to do so. Thousands of visitors visit the event, allowing locals a chance to showcase Alberta.
• The games provide economic benefits to the local provinces. There are thousands of athletes, coaches, visitors, and volunteers who attend the games. These persons have to spend on accommodations, food and even souvenirs. The increased spending provides more profits for local businesses.
• The games bring unity among everyone. The local provinces are made up of different ethnic groups. With this much diversity, the games provide an opportunity for all to unite in planning and hosting the games. It is a community effort.
The winter games are widely covered. There is an Alberta games site which viewers can subscribe to for videos of the games:
The games attract a lot of attention with several pictures and images posted online. A website is maintained for each sporting event and can be accessed through this site: https://albertasport.ca/alberta-games/winter-games/sports/
The Winter Games in Alberta provides fun, excitement and different opportunities for all. Athletes get to compete, visitors get to learn about a new culture and be entertained, the locals get to earn profits and unite for the success of the games. The Games provide benefits and opportunities for all. The games are well supported with many volunteers to assist in making it a success. It is certainly something for the people of Alberta, especially athletes to look forward to.