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Windspeaker Sports Briefs - July 2013

Author: 
Compiled by Sam Laskaris
Volume: 
31
Issue: 
4
Year: 
2013

Alternate sites explored

Canada could end up hosting several events that are scheduled to be excluded from the 2016 Arctic Winter Games (AWG).

The games, which are held every two years, attract participants representing regions from the circumpolar north. The next games will be held in Fairbanks, Alaska next year. After that, Greenland is scheduled to host the 2016 AWG.

But officials from Greenland have stated they are not able to host six of the games’ traditional events;  hockey, curling, dog mushing, figure skating, gymnastics and speed skating.

A total of 19 sports were contested at the 2012 AWG, which were held in Whitehorse. Greenland officials have already made plans to lease arenas in Iqaluit, Nunavut to stage the hockey competition.

In early June it was announced a new committee, led by officials from the Northwest Territories, has been formed to find possible locations to host the other events that Greenland is not able to. Sites that might be considered to stage the five other sports are in Nunavut, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Iceland.

Numerous northern Canadian sporting officials have expressed concerns in simply not staging the sports that Greenland cannot accommodate. The new committee is scheduled to present its report this October.

The nine teams that traditionally compete at the AWG are Alaska, Greenland, Northern Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nunavik (northern Quebec), Nunavut, Yukon, Russia’s Yamalo-Nenets and the Sami people, which includes athletes from Finland, Norway and Sweden.


Decision overturned

The Iroquois Nationals will get a chance to play against top lacrosse teams at next year’s world championships.

Earlier this year officials with the men’s field lacrosse team were informed they would be seeded dead last (30th) for the 2014 world tournament, which will be staged in Denver, Colorado.
The reason for the last-place seeding was because the Iroquois Nationals did not compete at the 2010 world event, held in Manchester, England.

A total of 29 countries participated at that tournament. But the Iroquois Nationals, who were considered a medal favourite heading into the 2010 tourney, did not take part due to their much publicized passport issues.

Members of the Iroquois Nationals, featuring players from both Canada and the United States, wanted to travel to England on their Haudensosaunee passports. But British officials would not allow them to enter the country, citing they did not recognize the Haudensosaunee passports. As a result, the Iroquois Nationals were forced to withdraw from the 2010 tournament.

Since they did not compete at that event, the Board of Directors from the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) announced the Iroquois Nationals would be seeded behind all of the countries that did compete at the Manchester championships. An appeal to the FIL general assembly has been successful.
Canadian and American officials were among those who publically stated the Iroquois Nationals, a power in world lacrosse, should be included in the top division for the 2014 championships.

The Iroquois Nationals are expected to be officially reinstated to the top division for the 2014 tournament, when FIL officials meet at the women’s world championships, slated for this July in Oshawa, Ontario.


Fastball nationals

The northwest Alberta city of Grande Prairie will be laying out the welcome mats this August.

The city will host the Canadian Native Fastball Championships from Aug. 2 to Aug. 4.

Organizers are hoping to attract almost 90 clubs to the tournament, which will feature four divisions. The goal is to have 32 entrants in both the senior women’s and senior men’s categories. Organizers would also like to stage a 16-team men’s masters category. And they’re hoping to have eight women’s masters squad take part. The Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation is the host community for the tournament.

The national tournament is traditionally staged in western Canada. The majority of the participating clubs are usually from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

A total of 65 teams took part in the 2012 tournament, which was held in Cranbrook, B.C.


Powless dominates

After helping his squad win a second consecutive professional lacrosse championship, Johnny Powless has returned to dominate the junior ranks.

Powless, who is 20, is a member of the Rochester Knighthawks who captured their second straight National Lacrosse League crown in May. Powless, a Mohawk Turtle, is now starring for his hometown Six Nations Arrows in Ontario’s Junior A league. Powless racked up a whopping 53 points, including 31 goals in his first nine games with the Arrows this season.

This is Powless’ fourth season with the Arrows. He’s also eligible to compete in the junior ranks next year, following his third pro campaign.

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