2018 NL Winter Games – Deer Lake

2018 NL Winter Games – Deer Lake

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The Herald previews the 2018 NL Winter Games in Deer Lake, which showcases the best rising athletes our province has to offer

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The Olympic memories of weeks gone by are still bubbling in our brains as Newfoundland and Labrador sporting fans turn their attention to the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games in Deer Lake.

From March 10-18, over 1,300 young athletes from across the province will congregate to compete in 15 sports across a week long campaign. Will we see a future Canada Games contender, or perhaps an Olympian-to-be?

Community Support

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The Newfoundland Herald caught up with Co-Chairperson of the host committee Junior Pinksen and Executive Director of Sport NL Troy Croft as the countdown clock winds down towards one of the biggest sporting events on the island in 2018. “The town of Deer Lake is very excited,” shared Pinksen. “We hosted back in 2006, so to be able to  embrace this again and bring this back to our community is tremendous. Our volunteer base is growing. They’re very excited and passionate about it. They still remember the positive atmosphere that was in our community back in 2006. We want to make sure, at the end of the day in 2018, we have the same positive experience.”

With new logos, mascots and an official re-branding that included the presence of NHL Hall of Famer Paul Coffey, the NL Games are set to propel into the future, with Deer Lake being the first stop in what will be a tremendous revitalization in provincial sports competition.

With events ranging from alpine skiing to skating, wrestling, basketball and volleyball, it is the goal of both the host committee and Sport NL to ensure that all the represented athletes (ranging from ages 11-18) have the best experience possible, while also showcasing the athletic pedigree of the province at it’s peak levels. 

Pride & Competition 

“Competition is fierce and a lot of people want to represent not only their province, but their region as well going into these games,” shared Croft.

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“There’s a lot of pride in that and you see that when you get to the games at the ceremonies and the excitement around these kids. The competition is what they’re there for. They compete fairly and compete hard, but that’s really what it’s  about, that multi-sport experience and being there with other athletes from your region and other sports. Not a lot of kids get to experience that and this is kind of their first stepping stone. They get a taste of it at the NL Games and hopefully some of them go on to the Canada Games and hopefully one day the Olympics.”

“It’s the goal and objective of our council, and most importantly of our community, to make sure that when the athletes come in they arrive safely, they leave safely and they have a good time,” Pinksen adds. “We love to win – we watched the Olympics and yes you’d love to have that medal – but at the end of the day it’s about making sure they have a positive experience.”

For more on the NL Winter Games in Deer Lake visit nlgames.ca. Stay tuned to NTV for continued on-the-ground coverage of the games. 

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Dillon Collins is a writer based out of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Multi-time MusicNL nominee for Media Person of the Year. Lover of heavy metal, hoppy beverages and the loveable canine.

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