Hundreds of athletes descend on Swift Current for Western Canada Summer Games

Marc Smith, CTV Regina
Published Wednesday, August 14, 2019 6:42PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, August 14, 2019 6:46PM CST

Hundreds of athletes and more than 2,000 volunteers have taken over Swift Current. They are competing in the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games and are midway through the ten-day event.

“It’s been incredible,” said Denis Perrault, Mayor of Swift Current. “It started Friday night with our opening ceremonies, we had a packed house at our Innovation Credit Union Iplex – culture, sport and just a chance to celebrate Swift – and to be able to welcome 1,700 athletes and coaches to Swift is a lot and I’m just so grateful, everyone is stepping up.”

The first phase of the Games wrapped up on Tuesday with 800 athletes moving out and now 900 athletes are kicking off the second phase.

A small army of volunteers are key parts of making everything happen.

“We’re happy about the athlete, spectator and volunteer experience, it’s gone really well and we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback, so we’re happy that we’re allowing and creating an opportunity for kids to have a good level of competition, but also an enjoyable experience as well,” said Mark Benesh, Co-Chair of the Games.

Athletes from Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut are all competing in everything from baseball to track-and-field and everything in between.

“It definitely feels like we’re not in a school, but we are, and it’s just a testament to the standard that Saskatchewan holds themselves to,” said Vaughn Taylor, a Team Saskatchewan athlete.

Everywhere you look in the city; it’s all about the Games. The economic impact is expected to be in the millions for the city and region.

“Our retail is buzzing, our restaurants are hopping, hotels are plum full, this is definitely something memorable for sure, it’s the biggest event ever to come to Swift,” said Perrault.

The Western Canada Summer Games continue into the weekend with the Closing Ceremonies set for Sunday afternoon.