Saskatchewan NAIG athletes face high registration costs – ReginaOn 24/09/2018 by admin
REGINA – Athletes from across the continent are eager to put their skills to the test this weekend for the 2014 North American Indigenous Games. But Saskatchewan competitors now have an added challenge as many have just learned of a $600 entrance fee they’ll be expected to pay, if they want to play.
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“Well the $600 fee covers our athletes’ kits – going back from our track suits, to our team uniforms, our team equipment for softball, lacrosse, the $600 covers that, and the accommodations to put the kids in for the rest of the week, and also the transportation,” said Fenton Favel, Team Saskatchewan’s Chef de Mission.
The dollar figure isn’t far from what other provincial teams are expected to deliver. But the problem is, fundraising efforts began only two months ago, when management changed hands for Saskatchewan’s team.
“So nobody knew until May or June that there was a fee proposed to all the athletes and communities that had to be paid up,” said Favel.
Other provincial teams have been fundraising for months now. Nova Scotia’s track team put together an Indiegogo page, offering incentives to those who support their athletes.
“It ranges from $10 up to $100. Other kind of perks, are you get a free team bracelet, a team photo, a video thank-you,” said Christena Dykstra, head coach of Nova Scotia’s team.
Many local First Nations athletes are now relying on their own band to cover the cost. Metis players are receiving funding from the Metis Nation of Saskatchewan.
Sask Sport says out of the 403 Saskatchewan athletes competing, 399 of them are eligible to have their registration fee covered.
The opening ceremony for the games kicks off on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at Mosiac Stadium.