JRMCC forms Athletic Association to enhance sporting opportunities for kids

Valerie G. Barnes Connell Jordan/Northern Advocate. The new JRMCC fastball training equipment got a workout during the first of five Fastball training sessions Feb. 4.

Northern students have more athletic opportunities than ever thanks to a new sports association formed last year.

The Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB) Sports and Recreation Department formed an Athletic Association, which includes the LLRIB communities of Hall Lake, Sucker River, Stanley Mission, La Ronge and Little Red River in 2023, Kevin Roberts, LLRIB Sports and Recreation director, said, in an interview with the Northern Advocate.

“We have Rec directors and they try to get the principals and vice-principals involved cause it’s a school-oriented program,” Roberts said.

Basically the Association involves organizing camps to bring young athletes together.

“We did a soccer one back in the late summer.”

They hosted a Grade 5/6 volleyball tournament and invited Pre-Cam Community School and Gordon Denny Community School athletes to participate, Students from Pinehouse Lake also came for the tournament, which meant thre was 12 teams 

They hosted the first of five Fastball clinics at the JRMCC Sunday Feb. 4, where they brought in people from the John Queens Fastball Program (JQFP) from Saskatoon to work with young people to improve pitching skills with the athletes.

They news the new fastball equipment recently purchased for JRMCC with a grant, Roberts said.

“The whole idea is just to get more kids involved with the school athletics and providing competition. Sometimes kids don’t get enough competition before they go to tryouts or before they go to school competitions. It’s just another way to get more kids involved so we sent three soccer teams to FSIN Championships, first time ever.”

Another spin-off from the organization, getting rec workers in the communities working collaboratively, which “provides more sporting opportunities and gives them funding to make that happen. That’s the key,” Roberts said.

There are many opportunities available when partnering with the Air Ronge and La Ronge schools, such as the Northern Saskatchewan High School Volleyball Championships, FSIN’s First Nation championships and Northern Lights School Division championships, Roberts said.

With the Association, there is always more options in finding instructors for different sports as well, Roberts said.

“We’re bringing kids from all over,” he added.