Ilitaqsiniq’s strongest man and woman competition was really cool.

Letting aside that I couldn’t lift the tire up and my whole household got eliminated in the first round, we had an awesome time getting hyped for the event and spectating during it.

In a small community, it becomes even more stark how much difference individuals and organizations can make. That competition doesn’t exist if Ilitaqsiniq’s staff aren’t inspired to run it, and likewise for other recreation activities in town.

After the event, I observed people talking about wanting to train for next year and get in better shape for future competitions. Qaritaq Kusugak-Clark, who won strongest man, called the event an eye opener for a lot of people. From the advertising for the event, Ilitaqsiniq wanted to encourage fitness and healthy lifestyles, and it seems like the competition was a raging success.

Also, Ilitaqsiniq is just on fire as an organization. The amount of programs they are simultaneously running and advertising is remarkable. And they’re not cookie cutter workshops either, but have real thought put in.

In Ilitaqsiniq’s masseuse program, for example, participants are paid handsomely for doing the three-week workshop. As an organization, Ilitaqsiniq recognizes that dangling benefits out in the future does not appeal enough to many people, and takes what might have once been considered an unorthodox approach – paying people to learn and build their skills – and uses it to ensure success.

There is not much replacement for the benefit of endorphins, healthy living and exercise. In a community and territory that need all the outlets and mental health supports we can get, competitions like these and other sport tournaments are not just great extracurricular pursuits, but satisfy core needs for people.

Young people in Nunavut are active and strong, as Kusugak-Clark also mentioned. Encouraging them to focus on fitness and show off their gains helps reinforce the benefits of healthy living and gives people goals to work towards. Anything that counters that sense of bleakness and lack of looking to the future is a major mental health win.

When I was working on my mental health and developing myself as a person in my 20s, I had a mantra that it was never a bad day if I worked out. And it was true: I didn’t care if work went poorly or issues cropped up in life if I got a good gym session in. Fitness goes far beyond aesthetics and is more connected to our mental wellbeing than sometimes meets the eye.

After posting photos on our social media pages, I’m always checking the shares and seeing what people are saying about the events in Rankin and the Kivalliq. One common theme after recreation events like this is for people in other communities and Iqaluit saying they wish their home did these things too. We are lucky in Rankin to have some people with real energy, ideas and passion to bring these events to life.

I’m sure many people agree with me about already looking forward to next year’s event, where the competition will likely be even more fierce.

ᐃᓕᑕᖅᓯᓂᖅ ᓴᙱᓚᖅ ᐊᖑᑎᓄᑦ ᐊᕐᓇᓄᓪᓗ ᐱᑯᒋᓚᐅᖅᐸᖓ.

ᓇᖕᒥᓂᕐᓕ ᐅᕙᖓ ᑭᕕᒍᓐᓇᓚᐅᖏᓐᓇᒃᑯ ᐊᒃᓴᓗᐊᖅ ᐃᓗᒥᐅᖃᑎᓕᒪᒃᑲᓗ ᐱᖅᑕᐅᑲᐅᑎᒋᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᐱᖏᐊᓵᕐᓂᑦᑎᓐᓂ, ᖁᕕᐊᓇᑦᑎᐊᓚᐅᖅᑐᖅ ᐅᐃᒪᔮᖅᖢᑕᓗ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐃᑲᔪᖃᑎᒌᒃᖢᑕ.

ᓄᓇᓕᕋᓛᕐᒥ, ᐊᓯᔾᔩᓂᖃᕈᓐᓇᖅᐳᖅ ᐱᓇᓱᒡᔪᐊᖅᑐᖃᓕᕌᖓᒥ ᐱᓕᕆᑎᑕᐅᑎᓪᓗᒋᑦ ᑎᒥᐅᔪᓄᑦ. ᓴᓚᖃᕋᓱᖃᑎᒌᖕᓂᖅ ᐱᑕᖃᕋᔭᙱᓚᖅ ᐃᓕᑕᖅᓯᓂᒃ-ᑯᑦ ᐱᒋᐊᕐᓂᖃᓚᐅᖏᑉᐸᑕ, ᐱᖏᐊᖅᑐᓕᕆᓂᕐᓗᐱᓪᓗᒍ.

ᐱᐊᓂᒃᓯᒪᓕᖅᑎᓪᓗᒋᑦ, ᐅᖃᖅᓯᒪᔪᓂᒃ ᑐᓴᓚᐅᖅᐳᖓ ᐊᕌᒍᓛᖅᑐᒧᑦ ᐱᕙᒋᔭᖅᓯᒪᔪᒪᓕᕋᒥᒃ ᓴᓚᖃᕋᓱᖃᑎᒌᒃᑐᖃᒃᑲᓂᓕᖅᐸᑦ. ᖃᕆᑕᖅ ᑯᓱᒐᖅ ᑲᓚᐅᒃ, ᓵᓚᖃᓚᐅᖅᑐᖅ ᐊᖑᑎᓄᑦ ᐱᓇᓱᒃᑐᓄᑦ, ᐅᔨᕈᓱᒃᐹᓕᕈᑕᐅᓚᐅᕐᓂᖓᓂᒃ ᐃᓄᖕᓄᑦ ᐅᓄᖅᑐᓄᑦ. ᑐᓴᖅᑎᑦᑎᐊᓪᓚᓚᐅᖅᖢᑎᒃ ᐊᑐᖅᑕᐅᓂᐊᖅᑐᒥᒃ, ᐃᓕᑕᖅᓯᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᐱᒋᐊᕈᑎᖃᕈᒪᓕᓚᐅᖅᐳᑦ ᖃᓄᐃᖏᑦᑎᐊᕐᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᑎᒥᒧᑦ,ᐃᓅᓯᖃᑦᑎᐊᕐᓂᕐᓗ, ᓴᓚᒃᓴᕋᓱᖃᑎᒌᖕᓂᖅ ᐊᑑᑎᖃᑦᑎᐊᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ.

ᐊᒪᓗ ᐃᓕᓴᕐᓯᓂᖅ ᐱᓕᕆᑦᑎᐊᖅᖢᑎᒃ. ᐱᓕᕆᐊᒃᓴᑦ ᓴᕿᑉᐸᓪᓕᐊᔪᑦ ᐱᑯᓇᑦᑎᐊᖅᑐᖅ ᑐᓴᖅᑕᐅᔭᕆᐊᓖᓪᓗ ᐱᑯᓇᕿᓪᓗᑎᒃ. ᐱᑐᐃᓇᖏᖦᖢᑎᒡᓗ, ᐱᓪᓚᑦᑖᖅᖢᑎᒃ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᕐᒥᓂᒃ.

ᐃᓕᑕᖅᓯᓂᖅ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖃᖅᑎᑕᖓᑕ ᐃᓚᖓ ᑎᒥᒃᑯᑦ ᓴᐃᓕᓴᖅᑕᐅᓂᖅ, ᓲᕐᓗ ᐃᓚᐅᔪᑦ ᐊᑭᓕᖅᓱᖅᑕᐅᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᐱᖓᓱᓄᑦ ᐱᓇᓱᐊᕈᓯᕐᓄᑦ ᑭᒡᓕᓕᖕ. ᐃᓕᑕᖅᓯᓂᖅ ᐊᑭᓕᖅᓯᐅᓂᖃᖢᓂ ᐅᓄᕐᓂᖅᓴᓂ ᐃᓚᐅᖁᔨᓪᓗᑎᒃ, ᐃᓚᐅᔪᖃᖃᑦᑕᖏᓂᑰᓂᖓᓄᑦ. ᐊᑭᓕᖅᓱᖅᑕᐅᓗᑎᒃ ᐃᑲᔫᑎᖃᕈᓐᓇᕐᒪᑦ ᓯᕗᒻᒧᑦ.

ᐱᑕᖃᑦᑎᐊᖏᓐᓂᖓᓄᑦ ᐊᑐᕈᓐᓇᖅᑐᒥᒃ ᑎᒥᐅᑦ ᐱᔭᕆᐊᖃᖅᑕᖓᓂᒃ, ᐃᓅᓯᖃᑦᑎᐊᕐᓂᖅ ᐃᖃᐃᓕᓴᕐᓂᕐᓗ. ᓄᓇᓕᖕᓂᑦ, ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᓗ ᐱᑕᖃᕆᐊᖃᕋᓗᐊᕐᒪᑦ ᐳᐊᒡᕕᒃᓴᐅᔪᓐᓇᖅᑐᓂᒃ, ᐃᓱᒪᒧᑦ ᐊᑲᐅᓯᕚᓕᕐᒥᒃ. ᓴᓚᖃᕋᓱᖃᑎᒌᖕᓂᖅ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐃᖑᐊᖃᑎᒌᖕᓂᖅ ᐊᑑᑎᖃᑦᑎᐊᕋᓗᐊᕐᒪᑕ, ᑭᓯᐊᓂᓕ ᐱᔪᒪᒧᓂᒃ ᐃᓄᖕᓂᒃ ᐱᑕᖃᖅᐸᑦ.

ᒪᒃᑯᒃᑐᑦ ᓴᙱᔫᖕᒪᑕ ᐆᒻᒪᕆᒃᖢᑎᒡᓗ ᓄᓇᕗᑦᒥᐅᑦ, ᑯᓱᒐᖅ-ᑲᓚᐅᒃ ᐅᖃᖅᖃᐅᓪᓗᓂ. ᐱᓇᓱᖁᔨᓪᓗᓂ ᒪᒃᑯᒃᑐᓂᒃ ᑎᒥᑎᒍᑦ ᑲᒪᒋᑦᑎᐊᕐᓂᕐᒥᒃ, ᑕᑯᑎᑦᑎᓗᑎᒡᓗ ᐱᔪᓐᓇᕐᓂᕐᒥᓂᒃ ᐃᑲᔫᑎᖃᕋᔭᖅᑐᖅ ᐱᔪᒪᓂᖅᓴᐅᑲᓐᓂᓕᕐᓗᑎᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ, ᑭᐱᖑᐃᔭᐅᑎᖃᓗᐊᖏᖦᖢᓂ ᓯᕗᓂᒃᓴᕐᒥᓪᓗ ᐃᓱᓗᓗᐊᖏᖦᖢᓂ ᐃᓱᒪᒧᑦ ᐊᔪᕐᓇᕐᒪᑦ.

ᐅᕙᓐᓂᒃ ᑲᒪᒋᑎᓪᓗᖓ ᐃᓱᒪᒃᑯᑦ ᐊᕌᒍᒐ 20-ᖏᓃᓕᖅᑎᓪᓗᒍ, ᐋᕿᒃᓯᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᒐᒪ ᖃᐅᑕᒪᑦ ᐃᖃᐃᓕᓴᖃᑦᑕᕈᒪᓪᓗᖓ, ᐃᖃᐃᓕᓴᕌᖓᒪᓗ ᐅᓪᓗᒐ ᐊᓕᐊᓇᐃᓂᖅᓴᐅᕙᒃᖢᓂ.ᐅᓪᓗᖅ ᐊᓕᐊᓇᐃᖏᒃᑲᓗᐊᖅᐸᑦ ᐃᖃᓇᐃᔭᖅᑎᓪᖢᖓ, ᐃᖃᐃᓕᓴᕐᓂᖅ ᐃᑲᔫᑎᖃᐃᓇᐅᔭᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ. ᐃᖃᐃᓕᓴᕐᓂᖅ ᐱᒻᒪᕆᐅᓂᖃᖅᐳᖅ ᐃᓱᒪᒧᑦ ᑎᒥᒧᓪᓗ.

ᐊᔨᖁᑎᓂᒃ ᓴᕿᑦᑎᒑᖓᒪ ᐅᑕᕿᕙᒃᐳᖓ ᖃᓄᖅ ᑐᓴᕐᓂᐊᕐᒪᖔᕐᒪ ᐊᑐᖅᑕᐅᓵᖅᑐᒥᒃ ᑲᖏᖅᖠᓂᕐᓂ, ᑭᕙᓪᓕᖅ. ᐅᖃᖅᑐᖃᖅᐸᒃᖢᓂ ᐃᖃᓗᖕᒥᐅᓂᑦ ᐊᓯᖏᓐᓂᓪᓗ ᑕᐃᒪᐃᑦᑐᒪᒐᓗᐊᕐᒥᒐᒥᑦᑕᐅᖅ. ᐱᒃᑯᓇᖅᐳᖅ ᑲᖏᖅᖠᓂᕐᓂ ᐱᑕᖃᕐᒪᑦ ᐱᔪᒪᔪᓂᒃ ᐆᒻᒪᕆᒃᑐᓂᒃ, ᑐᓂᓯᓗᑕ ᐊᑐᖅᑕᐅᔪᓐᓇᖅᑐᓂᒃ, ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᒌᒍᑕᐅᔪᓐᓇᖅᑐᓂᒡᓗ ᓴᕿᑎᑦᑎᓗᑎᒃ ᐃᓅᓯᖅᑕᓕᒃ.

ᐅᒃᐱᕈᓱᒃᐳᖓ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᑕᕿᔪᓐᓇᐃᓕᖃᑕᐅᓂᖏᓐᓂ ᐊᕌᒎᓂᐊᖅᑐᒧᑦ ᓴᓚᖃᕋᓱᒃᑐᖃᒃᑲᓂᕐᓂᐊᕐᓂᖓᓂᒃ, ᐊᒃᓱᒃᑲᓂᐅᓂᐋᖂᖅᑐᖅ.

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