According to Coaldale Mayor Jack Van Rijn, the town has expressed its interest in hosting the 2024 Southern Alberta Summer Games.
The decision was made during the May 8th, 2023 Regular meeting of the Council, where a motion was passed unanimously to allocate a budget of $53,500.00 for hosting the summer event.
According to Van Rijn, the discussions leading up to the motion highlighted the importance of exploring potential participating partners and revenue sources to ensure the success of the games. In line with this objective, Coaldale's Recreation and Community Services Team recently organized a tour for members of the Southern Alberta Recreation Association (SARA) executive. The tour showcased Coaldale's impressive array of recreational facilities, further reinforcing the town's commitment to hosting the games.
The Southern Alberta Summer Games, prior to the pandemic, held the distinction of being the longest consecutively run multi-sport event in Western Canada.
After a four-year hiatus, the town aims to revive this revered Southern Alberta tradition by hosting the 2024 games, coinciding with the grand opening of the town's state-of-the-art Multi-Use Recreation Center in the community.
As part of the proposal presented to the Southern Alberta Recreation Association, Coaldale's Administration has outlined a comprehensive list of core events, optional sports, and potential sports to be included in the games.
The core events range from the 5/10KM Run and Athletics to Ball Hockey, Baseball, Badminton, 3 on 3 Basketball, Cribbage, Mini Soccer, Soccer, and Photography. The optional sports being considered include Lacrosse and Pickleball, while Flag Football, Waterskiing/Water Sports, and Mountain Biking are among the potential sports to be offered.
The town's Administration has made a conscious decision to prioritize events with established local representation, taking into account concerns regarding event chairs and local resources.
Van Rijn said in a Facebook post said that Coaldale's Administration plans to form a Southern Alberta Summer Games committee comprising community members who will play pivotal roles in planning the event. The committee will be responsible for entertainment, event and sport delivery, as well as fundraising initiatives.
Hosting the Southern Alberta Summer Games is expected to bring significant benefits to the community. With an estimated participation of 1,500 to 2,000 athletes and visitors, Coaldale will have a unique opportunity to showcase its exceptional facilities, including the "Quads" sports fields, the recently upgraded arena, the renovated pool, the mountain bike park, and the new recreation centre. The event is also anticipated to generate a boost in the local economy, with increased spending on fuel, food, accommodation, camping, and shopping.
Van Rijn says that the hosting endeavour aligns with Coaldale's Strategic Planning objectives, as the Council aims to open the doors of the town's remarkable recreation centre to residents of all ages and abilities.