Western Canada Summer Games’ Sun Peaks connections

On Aug. 5 to 14, Kamloops will host the Western Canada Summer Games for the first time ever. About 3,000 athletes from all over B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut will compete in 19 sport events.

Several people are representing Sun Peaks at the event in a big way, from athlete to volunteers.

Sun Peaks resident Alize Perriard-Abdoh will be competing in wrestling in the 46 kg weight category. This is the next big step up for the young wrestler after competing in the B.C. Summer Games. In preparation, she’s training twice a week leading up to the event with the rest of the B.C. team.

“It’s gonna be fun,” said Perriard-Abdoh. “I’m excited to learn lots with the team. It’s a rare opportunity.”

Marg Kosolofski, a registered nurse and Sun Peaks Health Centre manager, is the event’s medical director. Kosolofski has been involved in other sporting events like the Canada Games and B.C. Games.

“It’s had its challenges and it’s had its rewards,” said Kosolofski of her role. “And it’s amazing the qualifications of the people that I get to work with.”

It takes over 500 trained professionals to properly staff the medical team. The challenge is providing enough medical response teams to the 19 events, some of which will be held outside Kamloops. This means classifying each sport according to anticipated medical need.

“For example, soccer isn’t a high risk event but it’s classified as high utilization,” explained Kosolofski. “Rugby is classified as high risk. We don’t anticipate that there will be a lot of need for medical there but when they get injured, it’s always serious.”

Kosolofski will be joined by other familiar faces in the medical team. Fiona Fache, Sun Peaks Health Centre’s volunteer coordinator, will coordinate the volunteers at the event. Dr. Mario Pozza and Dr. Robbin Shamenski are volunteering as optometrists on call. And Kyle Martin of the Sun Peaks Bike Patrol will help monitor the torch parade.

Despite its large scale, the event is run mostly by volunteers.

“Throughout the games, there’s only six paid staff—everyone else is a volunteer,” said Vincent Lafontaine, sports and volunteer coordinator.

There are 1,500 signed up and at least 500 more are needed. Anyone can volunteer and they do get a lot of perks, said Lafontaine. For an event that occurs once every four years, being a part of it is a reward in itself.

To sign up, visit www.wcsg2011.ca.

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