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Celebrating 12 Days of Sport – 2022

As 2022 comes to an end, Sask Sport is looking back on some of the sport highlights from year that was.

Day 1 – Women in Sport

On Day 1 of Sask Sport’s 12 Days of Sport, we celebrate the many women in sport who did exceptional things this past year. While there have been countless accomplishments by females in sport this past year, here are five women who were featured by Sask Sport in 2022.

Day 2 – Paralympic Pride

On Day 2 of Sask Sport’s 12 Days of Sport, we recognize the accomplishments made by the group of Saskatchewan athletes, coaches, officials and support staff who attended the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games from Mar. 4-13, 2022.

Although there were only two athletes from Saskatchewan competing, the duo came home with three medals. Prince Albert’s Brittany Hudak captured bronze medals in the 15-km standing cross country and 12.5km standing biathlon events and finished in the top eight in four other events. Biggar Para snowboarder Lisa DeJong won silver in snowboard cross. In the banked slalom event, DeJong finished in sixth.

On the coaching side, Saskatoon’s Ken Babey helped the Para ice hockey team earn a silver medal, while Saskatoon’s Kaspar Wirz supported Team China’s Para Nordic team. Saskatoon’s Dan Brisbin served as an official for the Para Nordic events.

Day 3 – Canada Games Contingent

On Day 3 of Sask Sport’s 12 Days of Sport, we are high fiving the group of Saskatchewan athletes, coaches, officials and support staff who attended the 2022 Canada Games in the Niagara Region from Aug. 6-21.

Saskatchewan had 377 athletes competing at the Games and ended up brining home 32 total medals, with three of them being gold. Team Saskatchewan’s male volleyball team finished in first place, as did Savannah Sutherland in the female 400-metre hurdles and Jasmine Fehr in the female 5,000-metre race.

Also representing Saskatchewan were 23 officials from six different communities across the province as well as 88 coaches and 25 mission staff.

Day 4 – Return of the Tony Cote Games

On Day 4 of Sask Sport’s 12 Days of Sport, we celebrate the return of the Tony Cote First Nations Summer Games, which were held from July 24-30 for the first time since 2019. James Smith Cree Nation played host to the Games, which featured seven sport disciplines including archery, athletics, beach volleyball, canoe/kayak, golf, softball and soccer. More than 4,000 athletes participated.

The Saskatchewan First Nation Summer Games first began in 1974 under the leadership of Tony Cote, who was the first Chief of the Cote First Nation. The event was his idea to provide more opportunities in sport to youth who were excluded from mainstream sport systems.

Before passing away in 2019, Cote was a contributor to sport as an administrator, programmer and coach, and helped in the construction of the Cote Recreational Complex on the Cote First Nations — the first artificial ice surface on a Saskatchewan First Nation.

Results for the Games can be found at tonycotesummergames.ca

Day 5 – 15 Years of ICOP

On Day 5 of Sask Sport’s 12 Days of Sport, Sask Sport commends the 15-year anniversary of the Indigenous Coaches and Officials Program in Saskatchewan.

Starting in 2007 and formerly known as the Aboriginal Coaches and Officials Program, the initiative was created through a bilateral funding agreement between Sport Canada and the Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation, with Sask Sport, Sask Lotteries, the Coaches Association of Saskatchewan and the Jeux Canada Games 2005 Legacy fund acting as partners in the agreement.

In 15 years, the program has helped more than 7,800 coaches and officials. It supports sport programing that strengthens Indigenous capacity, leadership and culturally relevant community sport programs.

Day 6 – Outstanding Olympians

On Day 6 of Sask Sport’s 12 Days of Sport, we shout out the accomplishments by the group of Saskatchewan athletes, coaches, officials and support staff who attended the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games from Feb. 4-20, 2022.

Saskatchewan had six athletes compete at the games, including Saskatoon’s Emily Clark, who won a gold medal with the women’s hockey team. Moose Jaw’s Ben Coakwell also brought home a medal, winning bronze in four-person bobsleigh. Regina snowboarder Mark McMorris captured the third medal for Saskatchewan, winning bronze in men’s slopestyle. McMorris also finished 10th in the men’s big air event.

Also competing were long track speed skaters Graeme Fish, of Moose Jaw, and Marsha Hudey, of Regina. Fish finished in sixth place in the men’s 10,000-metre race, while Hudey finished 21st in the women’s 500-metre event. Prince Albert’s Adam Cracknell and the men’s hockey team finished off the podium, losing in the quarterfinal.

The athletes were joined by coaches Lyndon Rush (bobsleigh), Todd McClements (long track speed skating), Adam Burwell (snowboard) along with hockey officials Alexandra Clarke and Cianna Lieffers. Chris Dornan (bobsleigh and skeleton media attaché) and Mark Jesney (physiotherapist) were also part of the Saskatchewan contingent, along with Lisa Hoffart (outfitting team) and Catriona Le May Doan (Chef de Mission) from the mission staff.

Day 7 – Female Football

On Day 7 of Sask Sport’s 12 Days of Sport, we give two thumbs up to the remarkable year it was for local female football.

A group of 18 athletes from Saskatchewan were among the 45 players on the Canadian team that finished in fourth place at the 2022 IFAF Women’s World Championship in Finland. Just 12 years prior, there were only three players from Saskatchewan on the 2010 roster. Saskatchewan also had seven coaches on the sidelines this year.

Earlier in the summer, Regina played host to the first ever U18 women’s tackle football national championship. Since 1995, the Football Canada Cup had been a premier event for U18 males only. In the inaugural tournament, five female teams competed in a round-robin series before the medal round. Team Sask ended up bringing home a silver medal after a loss to Alberta in the final.

Day 8 – Indigenous Impact

On Day 8 of Sask Sport’s 12 Days of Sport, we a couple of the many outstanding Indigenous athletes, coaches and now scouts continuing to make an impact in their respective sport.

Sydney Daniels, who has connections to the Mistawasis Nêhiyawak First Nation in Saskatchewan, recently became the first female and first Indigenous female to be hired by the Winnipeg Jets hockey operations department as a college scout.

Scout Anderson, an Indigenous athlete who hails from Saskatoon, attended the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton, BC and is now a student-athlete Mount Royal University. Recently, Sask Sport caught up with her and asked for her thoughts on the importance Indigenous History Month and Indigenous Peoples Day and what both mean to her as an athlete.

Day 9 – Dream Brokers

On Day 9 of Sask Sport’s 12 Days of Sport, we applaud the many Dream Brokers in the province, who continue to connect and empower youth to get involved.

Here’s an article on one of the Dream Brokers making a difference in her community.

Day 10 – Athlete of the Month winners

On Day 10 of Sask Sport’s 12 Days of Sport, we take a look back at the Athlete of the Month winners from the past year, while encouraging you to nominate for December.

Nominations for December’s Athlete of the Month are open until Jan. 3

December Athlete of the Month nomination form

Day 11 – Celebrating Coaches

On Day 11 of Sask Sport’s 12 Days of Sport, we say ‘Thanks Coach’ to all of our coaches, including some who were recognized during National Coaches Week, which was held Sept. 17-25.

There are more than 20,000 trained coaches in the province working on different teams, clubs and leagues and in partnership with the Coaches Association of Saskatchewan, we highlighted a few of them during the week.

Plus, earlier in the year, wrestling coach Don Clark was recognized for his work with a national award.

And coach Scott Musqua, who reflects on participating in the Canada Games Aboriginal Apprentice Coach Program

Day 12 – Adaptive Grants

On Day 12 of Sask Sport’s 12 Days of Sport, we highlight the adaptive grants that allowed for more participation.

There are increasingly more adaptive sport programs, however the equipment required and the assistance needed to develop these programs can sometimes create barriers due to cost.