Grand Falls-Windsor lands 2010 Winter Games

Kent Burton
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A vague press release spoke of a "major sporting announcement" at Exploits Valley Intermediate on Friday afternoon and certainly delivered on that promise.

Clyde Jackman, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human Resources Labour and Employment and MHA for Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans, Ray Hunter, MHA for Grand Falls-Windsor-Green Bay South and Rex Barnes, Mayor of Grand Falls-Windsor, were all on hand at EVI for the official announcement that the 2010 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games would be held in the Exploits town.

It was officially announced on Friday morning that the 2010 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games will be held in Grand Falls-Windsor. On hand for the press conference were Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human Resources Labour and Employment and MHA for Gra

A vague press release spoke of a "major sporting announcement" at Exploits Valley Intermediate on Friday afternoon and certainly delivered on that promise.

Clyde Jackman, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human Resources Labour and Employment and MHA for Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans, Ray Hunter, MHA for Grand Falls-Windsor-Green Bay South and Rex Barnes, Mayor of Grand Falls-Windsor, were all on hand at EVI for the official announcement that the 2010 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games would be held in the Exploits town.

The last time the Games were in town was in 1978, when the former town of Grand Falls and Gander co-hosted the event.

Jackman was also on hand to present the town with a cheque for $200,000 to cover operating costs for the event, with another $150,000 expected from provincial government to cover transportation costs.

He said that the town put in a very strong bid for the Games and through the selection process, it was determined that Grand Falls-Windsor has the infrastructure to accommodate athletes, coaches, officials and anybody else making the trip.

"The Newfoundland and Labrador Games program offers a wide range of benefits and rewards for the youth of our province," said Jackman. "First, it's no secret that participation in sport is instrumental to the mental, social and physical development of our youth.

"The Games are also beneficial to the host community and its people in that it builds significant event management skills within the community and allows for further development of volunteerism."

Sullivan added that the announcement certainly comes at a time when the town could use an influx of both capital and optimism.

"The Winter Games will be a chance for everyone here to unite and demonstrate what we know we can achieve together," she said. "Through the years, Grand Falls-Windsor has proven over and over again that this town and our people are masters at planning and executing successful events.

"Now that we are hosting the Games on our own, we'll have the opportunity to remind everyone of the great volunteerism that exists in this community and the great town spirit that exists in this community and that will result in another fantastic event for Grand Falls-Windsor."

Councillor Roger Barnett said that spirit of volunteerism will play a huge factor in the success of the Games.

"We're really excited and I say this over and over again - if we can rekindle the spirit in this community like in 2005 during the centennial celebrations and get all kinds of volunteers to help out, we will have achieved our goal," he said.

"That's what we're going to need in the very near future. There's going to be calls going out for volunteers and we want as many as possible to step forward and step up to the plate."

Barnes agreed that the volunteers will, as always, play a huge part and said that the town is looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead in the coming months.

"The volunteer base for Grand Falls-Windsor is huge and, of course, the people are going to excel in that and we'll make the province proud at the 2010 Winter Games and we're looking forward to the challenge."

Jackman also spoke on the financial benefits of holding the Games in Grand Falls-Windsor. An estimated 1,200-1,500 people will be visiting the community as a part of the event.

"It will no doubt be an economic benefit to the local business and central economy as a whole," he said. "As host of the 2010 Winter Games, Grand Falls-Windsor will become the nerve centre of the province, promoting the achievements of its top young athletes while also showcasing all that the central area has to offer."

Recreation director Dave Nichols explained that the Town had initially submitted a bit in 2002 for the Summer Games, which they ultimately had to withdraw. Their focus switched to the Winter Games as it tends to be easier to find volunteers during the colder months.

"We've passed the test - the only wrinkle that we've had in our ointment is that (Exploits Valley High) Maple has closed," he explained. "It's not a 'what if' - coincidentally, we're finishing our renovations at Windsor Stadium on November 15 regardless. Having said that, Windsor Stadium as it was is okay, but now, we're going to have two top-notch facilities."

Organizations: Grand Falls-Windsor-Green Bay South and Rex Barnes, Newfoundland and Labrador Games

Geographic location: Grand Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador, Windsor Stadium Valley High

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Recent comments

  • Randy
    June 28, 2010 - 14:49

    This short term fix and window dressing just won't do it for Grand Falls-Windsor in its fight for economic viability post-Abitibi. This approach is disturbingly typical of a government that appears to have little in the way of a plan but are very adept at sending up smokescreens to shroud the real issues in an area. Don't mean to rain on your parade folks, but don't let a positive announcemnt about one week of activity in your town conceal the real issues you face.

  • gerard
    June 28, 2010 - 14:49

    GFW will host these games,not because of the great work done by the council,or they passed the test with a great bid for these games. This is another opportunity brought to this town on the backs of exmillworkers, and while they are down by the mill fighting for what is owed them,the government that played a major role in the state they find themselves, sneak around town avoiding them in order to get more photo opts. Shame on Danny and His government, and there are no words to describe the ministers who actually call themselves fellow citizens of GFW and area.

  • aubrey
    June 28, 2010 - 14:49

    Why knock something so positive ?Under Dave Nichols we have one of the best Rec departments in this province .Congratulations to our council and Dave's department on this achievement - the Winter Games 2010 .

  • Ken
    June 28, 2010 - 14:49

    Why dont the provincial government give gf/w something useful like an MRI.

  • gerard
    June 28, 2010 - 14:49

    There is no doubt that GFW has one of the best Rec departments and they should have hosted the Games many times, but we all know what is happening, and why it's happening, we are all glad it's happening, but most people are not prepared to pass on congratulations unless they are earned.

  • Randy
    June 22, 2010 - 16:05

    This short term fix and window dressing just won't do it for Grand Falls-Windsor in its fight for economic viability post-Abitibi. This approach is disturbingly typical of a government that appears to have little in the way of a plan but are very adept at sending up smokescreens to shroud the real issues in an area. Don't mean to rain on your parade folks, but don't let a positive announcemnt about one week of activity in your town conceal the real issues you face.

  • gerard
    June 22, 2010 - 16:05

    GFW will host these games,not because of the great work done by the council,or they passed the test with a great bid for these games. This is another opportunity brought to this town on the backs of exmillworkers, and while they are down by the mill fighting for what is owed them,the government that played a major role in the state they find themselves, sneak around town avoiding them in order to get more photo opts. Shame on Danny and His government, and there are no words to describe the ministers who actually call themselves fellow citizens of GFW and area.

  • aubrey
    June 22, 2010 - 16:04

    Why knock something so positive ?Under Dave Nichols we have one of the best Rec departments in this province .Congratulations to our council and Dave's department on this achievement - the Winter Games 2010 .

  • Ken
    June 22, 2010 - 16:04

    Why dont the provincial government give gf/w something useful like an MRI.

  • gerard
    June 22, 2010 - 16:04

    There is no doubt that GFW has one of the best Rec departments and they should have hosted the Games many times, but we all know what is happening, and why it's happening, we are all glad it's happening, but most people are not prepared to pass on congratulations unless they are earned.