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Facilities set up and ready for Summer Games

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 10:28 am

The brand new beach volleyball court at Chinook Winds Park is ready for competitors to hit the sand during the 2014 Alberta Summer Games
The brand new beach volleyball court at Chinook Winds Park is ready for competitors to hit the sand during the 2014 Alberta Summer Games
Lucas Punkari/Rocky View Publishing

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During the course of the 2014 Alberta Summer Games in Airdrie, a total of 15 different sports will be held at 11 venues throughout the city from July 24 to 27.

The job of making sure all of the facilities are set and ready to go belongs to Games Manager Russell Street, who has been keeping an eye on the Games timeline to make sure everything is prepared for the top athletes in the province.

“When the bid was originally made to host the Alberta Summer Games back in 2011, the committee needed to find out what venues could be used around town to make sure that we were a viable host for an event like this,” Street said.

“As we have a number of facilities in town already, such as Genesis Place and the Ed Eggerer Athletic Park, that wasn’t a major issue for us,” he added. “However, there were things that needed to be touched up a little bit, such as the outfield fences at the ball diamonds, and venues that needed to be built from scratch for the Games.”

The two new venues that were built for the 2014 Summer Games are for the beach volleyball and mountain bike competitions, with a brand new beach volleyball court now in place at Chinook Winds Park, and a mountain bike track now set up at the Airdrie Rodeo Grounds.

“When you don’t have places set for those already, you have to come up with locations for them, but our partnership with the City of Airdrie made those decisions easier,” Street said.

“Plus, those new venues can be used again in the future,” he added. “The volleyball courts will be there at Chinook Winds Park for people to play on after the Games, and the mountain bike track can be set up at the Airdrie Rodeo Grounds for future events.”

In addition to overseeing the event sites, Street has also been busy working on the accommodations setup for the athletes, coaches, and officials that will be coming into Airdrie for the Summer Games.

“When you have around 3,000 athletes, coaches, and officials all in Airdrie, it’s going to be quite busy,” Street said. “So, in addition to the hotels in our city, we have the athletes staying in nine different schools around Airdrie.”

“We talked with the fire department to come up with how many athletes can go where, and there are also three semi-trailers full of mattresses that go from each provincial Games for the athletes to sleep on, so we are pretty much ready for anything there,” he added.

A.E. Bowers Elementary School, Bert Church High School, Ecole Airdrie Middle School, Ecole Edwards Elementary School, George McDougall High School, Meadowbrook School, Muriel Clayton Middle School, Nose Creek Elementary School, and Ralph McCall School are all being used to house athletes during their stay in Airdrie while the Games are taking place.

“How many athletes will stay in each school varies on how much space is available for the rooms they will be in,” Street said. “It ranges anywhere from 200 to 700 athletes.”

To feed all of the athletes, a food centre has been set up inside the twin arenas at Genesis Place, where competitors will be bussed to and from to have the meals they need before or after their events.

“It’s a massive undertaking, and we’ve put a lot of our trust in Sunterra Market in Calgary to do the catering for us,” Director of Food Services Marie Lauer said. “I can tell you that in terms of snacks alone, we have over 6,000 apples that will be served during the course of the weekend.”

“We’ve also had a lot of help from the community as well, as Safeway is donating 22,000 water bottles, which is pretty amazing,” she added.


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