The Aboriginal Sport Circle (NWT) held a first of its kind workshop in the capital last weekend.
Aboriginal Communities: Active For Life, a workshop that was designed by the national chapter of the Aboriginal Sport Circle (ASC), was created specifically for Aboriginal communities through consultations with elders and Aboriginal leaders throughout the country.
Last weekend it was offered in the NWT for the very first time.
“It has been wonderful,” said Beth Hudson, events manager with the NWT ASC. “It’s really exceeded expectations and I’m so glad we have over 25 people that showed up for today. So it’s really exciting.”
The camp was unique to many others in the territory as it focused on the community as a whole, how to get not only youth, but old people too, with a special focus on aboriginal communities.
“We’re really taking a look at our aboriginal communities and how to best support them,” said Hudson. “So there is a lot of talk about how to support youth and community members who might be struggling with different issues or different factors in their lives and how to help them overcome that.”
Residents from four regions in the NWT travelled to Yellowknife to attend the camp. Funding from the national circle and Sport For Life allowed residents from the Mackenzie Delta, the Tlicho and Dehcho regions to apply to travel on discounted rates.
“We applied for additional funding to cover the travel costs,” said Hudson. “We thought it was important to reduce some of those barriers and make it inclusive to everyone.”
Adam Nadli, of Fort Simpson, was one of those attending the camp. He chose to attend the workshop rather than compete in the Scott McAdam badminton tournament in Hay River.
“It’s kind of fun seeing people of all ages being active right now,” said Nadli. “It’s really fun because a lot of people need the health and try to be active as much as they can. I did so many workshops over the years. This one’s a lot different because this one’s about the community and not about the youth. This one’s about everyone in the community.”
Almost everyone at the workshop came as a leader from their community. Some were on hand games committees while others were part of chief and council. Others still were part of sporting bodies such as Sport North.
“Everyone here has a role to play in their community whether it’s on a hand games committee or on chief and council or they’re a youth member who just wants to help other youth get involved,” said Hudson. “So it’s great to see everyone participating and having fun and experiencing it for themselves so that they can go back to their communities and run activities like this.”
The workshop was conducted by members of Sport For Life and over the weekend they also offered courses in order for attendees to become fully certified in the national body’s physical literacy instructor certification. Physical literacy is helping to develop simple body movements such as running and throwing a ball.