Monday, July 14, 2008

The sights and sounds of the Canada Games

The sights and sounds of the Canada Games
The construction of the track and field complex at UPEI
is a visible reminder that the 2009 Games will soon be upon us.

Anyone passing the University of Prince Edward Island these days can't help but notice the mountains of red earth and the sounds of major construction. It's the track and field complex slated to host the 2009 Canada Summer Games gradually taking shape - a visible reminder to Islanders that the Games are closer than we think. A year from next month, thousands of athletes and visitors will descend upon the Island.

For years, Islanders have been discussing and planning for this event, but seeing the infrastructure emerge should generate some added excitement. After all, there's more to the Games than just the two-week schedule of competitive events.

Those who remember being involved in the 1991 Canada Winter Games here will recall the momentum that grew in the years and months leading up to those Games. It's like anything else - the more you invest in something, the more you get out of it. The organizers, the athletes and the many volunteers who've been involved so far in staging next summer's Games are no doubt experiencing that momentum already. But for others on the sidelines, the sights and sounds of construction remind them that next summer will be one of a kind. They'll be host to thousands of Canada's best young athletes and have the pleasure of seeing their display of excellence.

The Canada Games are an important showcase of Canadian athleticism. We see not only what individual athletes can accomplish, but what they collectively represent - commitment to the time-honoured ideals of hard work, excellence, self-discipline and self-sacrifice. No matter what our own chosen pursuits in life are, these are qualities we admire.

As the track and field centre takes shape at UPEI, it's a good opportunity for Islanders to enjoy the excitement surrounding the Games. One way to do this is by getting involved as a volunteer. It's been 17 years since a Canada Games was held here. A whole new generation of young people has grown up since then. For these youngsters, this is a first. We say get involved and enjoy.

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