As Sanikiluaq’s assistant recreation manager makes his way around town, he often hears his name being called.

“Quentin! Quentin!” numerous children holler excitedly.

Quentin Sala has made a positive impression on many youth in Sanikiluaq, teaching them Inuit games, overseeing their recreation activities and keeping the calendar bustling with events.

“One of my favourite jobs is supervising the youth and children,” says Sala, who recently turned 21.

Arts and crafts are within Quentin Sala’s repertoire as assistant recreation manager in Sanikiluaq. He’s taught many local youth various Inuit games. photo courtesy of the Recreation and Parks Association of Nunavut

He took on the role of assistant recreation coordinator 13 months ago after spending a few months teaching Inuit games.

“The SAO (senior administrative officer) was noticing the skills I have and the enthusiastic work. She offered me the position in September (2018),” he recalls.

To further hone his abilities, Sala, a die-hard Winnipeg Jets fan, was a participant in a youth leadership summit in Churchill, Man. last week. Workshop sessions addressed developing confidence as a leader, how to better communicate and understand others, managing team dynamics and career planning.

He also took training earlier this year at Humber College, near Toronto, to learn to conduct sports camps in his community. He’s applied for a scholarship program that would allow him to take online courses to expand his knowledge even further.

Working full-time – generally from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday to Friday with the occasional Saturday in the mix – Sala leads youth in a broad range of activities such as volleyball, soccer, tag and hula hoop dancing.

He remembers spending some of his childhood hunting with his grandparents and popping into the Sanikiluaq recreation centre to stay busy. He learned some Inuit games from a local man and others at school, allowing him to pass those skills on to others.

“I’m not good at them though,” he says modestly.

Square dancing, card and dice games bring out many residents on Nunavut Day, Canada Day and Christmas and there’s cash prizes for those who rise to the top among the various age categories.

Lacrosse is also on the horizon for Sanikiluaq. That sport will become a reality due to a successful funding proposal that Sala wrote and submitted. He says he’ll look into ordering lacrosse equipment in the near future.

The recreation department also plays a supporting role to other municipal departments, as needed, Sala adds.

“We step up as helpers,” he says.

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