Judging by the turnout this year, it would appear sport and recreation in Nunavut is pretty healthy.

The Recreation and Parks Association of Nunavut (RPAN) hosted its sixth annual conference in the capital from Oct. 19 to 21 with the highest-ever number of delegates attending, according to Dawn Currie, RPAN’s executive director.

“We had 83 registered delegates for the conference and some from Nunavik for the first time,” she said.
A total of nine made the trip in from Nunavik, which could have happened last year had it not been for bad timing.

Currie said this year wasn’t a problem, though.

“As soon as we put out the registration package in June, they were the first ones to call and register,” she said. “It’s good for us to have them come and be a part of it because we’re hoping we can support each other and help them grow there.”

This year’s conference featured three different streams of instruction: community recreation at the Frobisher Inn, soccer at the Inuksuk High School gymnasium and volleyball at Joamie and Nakasuk schools.

Quentin Sala of Sanikiluaq goes over some notes during a breakout session as part of the Recreation and Parks Association of Nunavut’s annual conference in Iqaluit on Oct. 20. Photo courtesy of Natalie Maerzluft.

The community recreation stream dealt with such workshops as Knowing Your Community, Volunteerism and Leading The Way, which looked at the NU Play after-school program and Get Happy Summer Day Camp program.

Two guest presenters from Toronto’s Humber College were on hand to help lead things in the form of Leila Kelleher and Sherri Branscombe and Currie said they’re no strangers to the North.

“They’ve been to Arviat before so they know a bit about what recreation looks like in Nunavut,” she said. “They were very interactive and there was no sitting around with them. The feedback we got about them was great and we’re already thinking of ideas for next year that involve them.”
That is, of course, if it fits the needs of RPAN and Humber College, she added.

“If the schedules work out, we’ll see if we can make it work,” she said.

Both the soccer and volleyball streams were chances for coaches and athletes to go through high-performance models. The soccer stream included work on defending and attacking principles, game play and the rules of futsal while the volleyball stream focused on such things as physical testing, drill preparation and offensive and defensive strategies, among other things.

The Sport and Recreation Awards Gala on Oct. 20 was the night where the best and brightest of the sport community were recognized for their work over the past 12 months.

More than 180 people attended the evening, said Currie, and it was all done in collaboration with the sport and recreation division.

One thing which was new this year for the awards was title sponsorship for the honours given out by RPAN, which included the Baffinland Iron Mines Recreation Leader of the Year, which went to Terry Killiktee of Clyde River, the Calm Air Community Organization of the Year – Cambridge Bay Minor Hockey – and the One Ocean Expedition Youth Leader of the Year, which went to Hayden Hickey of Iqaluit.

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