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Fishing for support

Minor hockey committee hosts third successful cod and sculpin fishing derby in Arviat
Nick Manik, holding bag, is presented with $7,000 in prize money for finishing second in the local cod derby. Also pictured, from left, April Ollie, Billy Ollie and Crystal King Akammak.

The Arviat Minor Hockey Committee netted the hat trick when it hosted a successful cod and ugly fish (sculpin) fishing derby for a third straight year recently in Arviat.

The derby was held from May 17 to 20.

Event co-organizer and Arviat Minor Hockey Committee member Crystal King Akammak said this year's fishing derby went really well.

Akammak confirmed this was the third year for minor hockey to hold the event and classified all three derbies as a success.

She said out of the three derbies to date, this year's seemed to go the most smoothly.

“The first two derbies were OK, but I would definitely say this year was the best of the three years so far,” said Akammak. “We have a limit of about five-to-seven miles outside of the community and that's it.

“Everybody is close to town and pretty close to each other during the derby. It goes, pretty much, from the bay here, near the community, to the other side, and there's an area just a little bit farther out where I heard there were a lot of people fishing there too.

“So, overall, it turned out really good.”

Akammak said, with a bit of a chuckle, that once people fishing hear someone else caught a big fish in a certain area, they often quickly move to that area too.

She said that's all part of the fun during the derby.

“People often move around and try different places, especially if they hear some bigger fish are being caught there. 

“When they hear that, of course, many want to go and try that area too.”

Akammak said minor hockey got involved with the derbies when committee members heard that those previously hosting the cod derby were wanting to step down.

She said that got minor hockey interested and it's been hosting the derby ever since.

“After, I'd say, a week or so, we then heard the nurses who had been organizing the ugly fish derby also wanted to step down and we were interested in hosting that too.

“Organizing the derbies is a lot of work and, I think, they just needed a break from it.

“But, once everything is ready, it's really nice to see families get together with friends, go out fishing and see who's going to win.

“It's a lot of fun to see the community work together and having some fun.”

Akammak said it's a bonus if you're one of the people who wins a nice cash prize, but that's not what the derbies are really all about.

She said the social aspect and having good, clean fun together are the most important parts. 

“That's how I see it anyway. It's just really nice to see family and friends getting together and having fun, as well as people getting to know each other or know each other better.

“People from out of town also come in for the event and that's a nice part of it all too.

“There's always excitement as the derbies get close. People also ask questions about what minor hockey will do with the money. We always give back everything we make.

“There's no profit for anyone. Every dollar from the derby is given back to the community. I've been on minor hockey for five years now and every year we host the derbies we learn something new. I'm looking forward to staying involved for a little while yet.”  

About the Author: Darrell Greer, Local Journalism Initiative

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