Organizers hope FSIN Youth Championships helps to grow sport

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald The Lac La Ronge Indian Band Under-16 boys’ celebrate after winning the championship game over the Canoe Lake Cree First Nation Sunday afternoon.

Getting youth interested in sports is a big part of any local organization in order to keep numbers up in the future.

With 60 teams competing Prince Albert this past weekend for the 2019 Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Youth Softball Championships, the event organizers from the Lac La Ronge Indian Band are hopeful that many of the participants will remain involved with the sport for years to come.

“Tournaments like this are a great way to promoted fastball in our communities,” LLRIB director of sports and recreation Kevin Roberts said Sunday at Max Power Ball Park during the tournament finals.

“A lot of these places don’t have organized ball, so events like this are a good chance for the kids to become friends with people their age. The same teams come back year after year and it’s all about building friendships that last for years to come.”

This marked the first time that the LLIRB has hosted the youth softball championships, but they have been in charge of FSIN tournaments in hockey and volleyball in recent years.

“Those tournaments are usually the biggest when it comes to turnout and that was certainly the case this year,” Roberts said. “We like to host these events every few years and Prince Albert was more than welcoming to us as we were able to use 10 diamonds here.

“It was an exciting time and we had nothing but smiles and good vibes all weekend. Plus, the weather held out for us and that was what we were hoping for the most.”

There will be a second FSIN tournament coming to Prince Albert this weekend as the Adult Fastball Championship, which is hosted by the Meadow Lake Tribal Council, will be run from Friday to Sunday at Max Power Ball Parks.