The north helps out the even-further north with hockey. It doesn’t get much more Canadian than that.

Residents of the hamlet of Naujaat in Nunavut are eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new ice skate sharpening machine donated by Overlander Sports in Yellowknife.

The sporting goods shop recently replaced its sharpener with a newer model and “put out some feelers to recreational places” to see who might want the old one, as Bill Stirling, owner of Overlander told Yellowknifer.

Bill Stirling, owner of Overlander Sports poses beside the skate sharpening machine the shop is donating to the Nunavut community of Naujaat. Blair McBride/NNSL photo

“The people from Naujaat responded really quickly about it. They’re super excited.”

The 20-year-old machine, which is still in good working order would cost $20,000 new on the shelf, Stirling said.

Details are still being sharpened on when the 750-lb device will be delivered to the remote hamlet in the Kivalliq region, just north of Hudson Bay. Stirling said it would be placed on a pallet and flown there.

Lorne Kusugak, Community Government and Services Minister told NNSL Media that he passed on the name of Naujaat when talking with Stirling about communities that might need a sharpener.

“It’s always nice to see a business make a gesture like this to help out a community, especially one that loves hockey as much as Naujaat,” Kusugak said.

The sharpener will be a welcome addition for the hamlet, where people take their skates to one person for sharpening, said Rodney Taparti, Naujaat’s recreation coordinator.

“This will be much better as a machine like that should do a better job on the blades and it will housed on-site at the arena,” said Taparti.

“It will be a lot better having it there, especially when players are in from out of town when we’re hosting the Arctic Circle Cup senior men’s tournament.

“We can’t thank Overland Sports enough for this machine and it will be appreciated in Naujaat for many years ahead, I hope.”

Blair McBride

Blair McBride covers the Legislative Assembly, business and education. Before coming to Yellowknife he worked as a journalist in British Columbia, Thailand and Ontario. He studied journalism at Western...

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