Thursday, July 24, 2014
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PAGC embraces host role in day two of First Nations Games

Andrew Schopp

Prince Albert Herald

The Prince Albert Grand Council is embracing its role as host of the 2014 Saskatchewan First Nations Winter Games.

As Prince Albert hosts the event for the sixth time, the Grand Council’s chef de mission for the games, Korey Diehl said he’s thrilled to see members of the community pitch in to make the 40th annual event a success.

“It’s nice because we are home,” Diehl said. “I bumped into a few people, old principals and stuff like that and they are lending a hand over at the schools so it’s good to see all the people we grew up with being apart of it.”

Taking on the role of chef de mission, part of Diehl’s job was to co-ordinate the team’s representing the council at the games, which wrap up on Friday.

As an athlete, the Prince Albert native tallied 15 points in the Central Hockey League in 2006, splitting the season with the Tulsa Oilers and Corpus Christi Rayz.

Diehl said that although the Grand Council team has not achieved the results they were looking for so far in the first half of the games, he is pleased with the athletes’ compete level.

“The hockey team hasn’t gotten the results they wanted but they worked and battled as hard as they could,” Diehl said of the Prince Albert atom and bantam hockey teams who have been eliminated from Wednesday’s gold medal finals.

The result was similar in the midget broomball event where Prince Albert was also eliminated from medal contention on Tuesday at Buckland Arena.

Although disappointed with the outcomes thus far, Diehl added that the games are about more than winning medals.

“They didn’t move as far as they would have liked but it’s all about growth,” he said. “It’s about having the opportunity to come here and display their talents and now we know what we need to work on towards the next games.”

Eliminated from medal contention in hockey and broomball, Diehl and the Grand Council eagerly await the results from badminton and volleyball events, which wrap up with finals on Wednesday.

Whether or not Prince Albert athletes are involved in those finals, Diehl said they are just happy to be participating in the games.

“They are really happy to have the opportunity to represent their First Nation,” Diehl said of his athletes. “Talking to some of the first time kids, they are really excited about being able to come here and display their talents in front of their families and elders.”

The first half of the games wraps up on Wednesday, as medals will be awarded in all events including the atom hockey final, which takes place at 11 a.m. at the Dave G. Steuart Arena.

The peewee hockey final will also take place at 11 a.m., but at the Art Hauser Centre.

2014 Saskatchewan First Nations Games schedule for Wednesday, April 23

Atom Hockey at Dave G. Steuart Arena

9:30 a.m. -- Bronze medal game

11 a.m. -- Gold medal game

Peewee hockey at the Art Hauser Centre

9:30 a.m. -- Bronze medal game

11 a.m. -- Gold medal game

Bantam broomball at Shellbrook Arena

9 a.m. -- Bronze medal game

10:30 a.m. -- Gold medal game

Midget broomball at Buckland Arena

9 a.m. -- Bronze medal game

10:30 a.m. -- Gold medal game

Men’s and women’s bantam volleyball at Carlton Comprehensive High School

8 a.m. -- Men’s gold medal game on court # 2, bronze medal game on court #1

9:30 a.m. -- Women’s gold medal game on court #2, bronze medal game on court #1

Men’s midget volleyball at the Margo Fournier Centre

11 a.m. -- gold medal game on court # 2, bronze medal game on court #1

U12 mixed badminton at Carlton Comprehensive High School

9 a.m. -- gold and bronze medal games for all divisions (10 matches)

U14 mixed badminton at Carlton Comprehensive High School

9 a.m. -- gold and bronze medal games for all divisions (10 matches)

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