The Okotoks and Black Diamond Alberta Summer Games (ASG) take place from July 20-23, 2023. The impact these games have on the hosting community and the community of young athletes in the province is positive and lasting. Kathy Coutts, Okotoks Museum and Archives Specialist, shares a perspective from her point of view as a volunteer.
“I was one of the many volunteers involved in the 2004 Alberta Summer Games when it was co-hosted by Okotoks, High River and MD of Foothills,” says Coutts. “I was involved in the culture and baseball components. My involvement with the baseball component was assisting teams, directing them to their ball diamonds, etc.”
She continues, “I was also volunteering at the Okotoks Museum at the time and one of the projects involved working with the Museum of the Highwood and Alberta Sports Hall of Fame to develop an exhibit that was displayed in all three of those facilities. It showcased the history of sport in our communities. I was thrilled to be involved. It was an opportunity to help showcase our community to the rest of the province and to work together with many other volunteers.”
Coutts remembers the influx of people that visited the town during the Games, which provided a boost to the local economy through the use of hotels, restaurants, attractions, and shopping.
“Staging the Games is a major undertaking,” Coutts points out. “It takes teamwork. Not everyone has the time to commit to a volunteer role, but they can still be involved by supporting a fundraising event (which helps pay for the Games) or they can be a spectator cheering on the talented athletes. Hosting the Games allows us to cheer on our local athletes and generates community pride.”
During the 2023 Games, the Okotoks Museum will be hosting a History of Sports in Okotoks exhibit – but that is just one of the many reasons to visit the museum. Okotoks is a forward-thinking town with a deeply ingrained past. The Okotoks Museum and Archives embodies the history of a community with a legacy spanning three centuries. Founded in 2000, the museum is dedicated to preserving artifacts and archival resources while commemorating Okotoks' rich heritage. Catering to both Okotoks and the Foothills region, the museum showcases permanent exhibits, as well as programs and events for students, adults, families, and seniors. These initiatives encourage individuals to explore and connect with history in innovative and engaging ways. Be sure to check out the museum, and to see the History of Sports in Okotoks this summer.
With the Games just several weeks away, excitement across the Okotoks region is growing – and for good reason! In addition to supporting the future major athletes of our province, the Games provide the perfect platform to show what makes this area special. From community pride to economic gains through tourism, the Games have a far-reaching impact that lasts for many years after the event.
Learn more about the Games and their impact, and stay tuned to the ASG event page for the latest updates on you can get involved.