And so with the cancellation of the NWT Track and Field Championships, there goes my favourite trip of the year.

Whoops … shouldn’t complain too much. People don’t like it when I whine about that sort of stuff.

Kugluktuk’s Jonathon Ihumatak tries to shield the ball from an Inuvik Wolves player during Grade 6 boys division playoff action at Junior Super Soccer in Yellowknife on April 28.
James McCarthy/NNSL photo

Anyway, I’m slowly coming around to the cancellation of events. I was in the corner of some who said this was totally unnecessary and an over-reaction but I understand. I get why it has to be done. I don’t have to like it but I understand.

Most people I’ve spoken to have told me it’s the right thing to do and maybe it is. Maybe we’ll be able to weather the storm better than other places. Maybe we’ll steer clear of the virus altogether. That’s a pipe dream because it’s not a matter of if but when for COVID-19.

There won’t be a spot on this planet that isn’t affected and we will be at some point.
I won’t tell you who I blame because I’ll be called all sorts of names.

Now that we know what won’t be happening, it’s time to focus on what should happen once the worst is over. We know the worst will pass, much like any other threat we’ve had to civilization. We will adapt and we will overcome because that’s what we do best as upright people.

There may be no Super Soccer but there should be something that happens for those players who will miss out. Many of them were to go to Whitehorse for the Arctic Winter Games but that carpet was pulled out from beneath their feet on the cusp of the start. They’re then told no Super Soccer. No hockey. No curling. No more fun of any kind.
Well, now what do we do?

I also hark back to something I was once told by Lorne Kusugak in 2013. He told me in an interview that maybe an Arctic Summer Games needs to happen due to the possibility of the AWG international committee considering a cull of some divisions within certain sports.

It sounds odd because we’re so used to the Arctic Winter Games but why not? You can keep a lot of the same sports already on the schedule – futsal, basketball, volleyball, traditional games etc. – and add some others like track and field, canoe/kayak, judo. Hey, archery could make its debut then, couldn’t it?

We were going to spend the money in Whitehorse, anyway, so why not spend it on a summer games instead for 2021? Sure, it’s too soon, I can hear you say but there is enough time if we get the ball rolling now. If you told the athletes who missed out on Whitehorse that there may be another opportunity to represent their territory/state/country, you don’t think they wouldn’t jump to it?

One smart coach told me once upon a time that kids love the Arctic Winter Games. I know that. They would love the Arctic Summer Games as well. I would wager my third-born child on it.

No matter what happens, we need to sport the formaldehyde out of this place once everything subsides. We need to get back to normal. Stay safe in the meantime, yes and make sure you look after those around you but the sun will come up tomorrow and there are good days ahead.

And that includes sports.

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