Sports and recreation can be basis for economic renewal

The people of the upper North Thompson Valley have traditionally had a interest in sports ... building on those strengths only makes sense

Clearwater: Adventure Starts Here. That is the slogan for the District of Clearwater.

With weather that ranged from 39-degree heat to torrential downpour, we certainly gave our visitors a range of adventures during the Peewee and Midget championships on the July 13 – 15 weekend.

Add to the mix some amazing, high quality softball, a well-organized tournament infrastructure, plus plenty of small town hospitality, and it’s no wonder we heard lots of good comments during the recent provincial finals.

Much of the credit for the event’s success must go to its organizer, Melody Romeo. District of Clearwater recently hired her to fill the new position of sports coordinator.

Her job will be to put on more sporting events like the recent softball championships.

Already she’s working on a soccer tournament, plus volleyball at Clearwater Secondary School and hockey at the Sportsplex.

Her job is intended to complement that of Eleanor Collins, the district’s new community recreation/healthy living coordinator.

Collins’ role appears to be more directed at people already living in the community, providing them with recreation opportunities such as tennis, canoeing and fitness classes, as well as using workshops and other educational methods to encourage us to live healthier lifestyles.

Romeo’s job, on the other hand, appears to be directed more at using sports as a driver for economic development. Specifically, this would mean organizing tournaments and similar events to attract people from outside into the community, where they would spend money and help provide employment.

The people of the upper North Thompson Valley have traditionally had a strong interest in sports, whether team sports such as softball or hockey, or individual sports such as backcountry skiing or fishing.

Building on those strengths to make the area more attractive to visitors and to enhance the lives of those already living here only makes sense.

 

We should congratulate Romeo and Collins in their new jobs, as well as the municipal and regional district politicians and staff members who put them there.