Western Canada Summer Games set for Swift Current in 2019

Planning of the Western Canada Summer Games (WCSG) is well under way with an expectation of more than 1,700 athletes and coaches representing 16 sports expected to compete from August 9 – 17, 2019.

“The board of directors is up and running, meeting monthly and building their teams,” said Mark Benesh, board co-chair. “We are all pretty excited about the opportunities that this is going to open up for Swift Current and surrounding communities.”

The board is made up of directors representing 14 different function areas, two co-chairs, and liaisons from provincial and municipal partners. Additionally, two staff have been hired: Denise Barbier as games manager and Guylaine Green as office manager.

“Participants will be coming in from Manitoba, Alberta, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon and of course, other parts of Saskatchewan,” said Benesh. “We are going to need close to 2,000 volunteers to make this the best games Western Canada has ever seen.”

In addition to the board, sport chairs, who will be leading the planning for each sport competition, have also been assigned. “We are fortunate to have a wealth of sport knowledge in our region,” said games manager Denise Barbier. “Not only do we have a lot of people that are familiar with traditionally popular sports such as volleyball, basketball, baseball and swimming, but we also have people looking to help grow some of the less familiar sports such as cycling, triathlon, canoe/kayak, rowing and beach volleyball. I’m excited for our community to gain greater awareness and exposure to these sports.”

Fourteen out of 16 sport chair positions have been filled. Two positions for diving and tennis are still open.

Current board members and their roles include:

Ally Pilkey and Carrie Voysey – media, communications and promotions

Angelina Wall – administration and finance

Anne Weisgerber – mission services and accommodation

Audra Wong and Cathy Knox – food services

Carrie Chambers and Larry Kielo – athletes’ village

Craig Menzies and Leonard Monk – transportation

Curtis Volk and Lloyd Fehr – information and communications technology

Denise Levorson and Morgan Montgomery – sport

Dean Robson – City of Swift Current representative

Erin Gehl – ceremonies, culture and protocol

Gary Hodges – security and spectator services

Karen Richmond – facilities

Kobus Pieters – medical services

Laura Dahlstrom – Province of Saskatchewan representative

Mark Benesh – co-chair

Melissa Shaw – co-chair

Scott Cassidy – friends of the games

Sheena Gatzke – volunteers

“Swift Current has a great reputation for hosting a variety of successful national and international events,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said. “Regardless of the event, Saskatchewan’s amazing volunteers work tirelessly to showcase our great province and our love of sport.”