Melfort Rotary Exchange Sports Weekend returns after hiatus

Melfort Rotary Photo Exchange Students line up on the ice at the Bourgault Curling Centre on Sunday, Jan. 21.

Rotary Exchange students from all over the world were in Melfort for the annual Rotary Exchange Sports Weekend from Jan. 19 to 21.

The weekend concluded with a night of a banquet and curling at the Bourgault Curling Centre on Sunday, Jan. 21.

“Our Rotary Club of Melfort hosted the exchange students in our District 5550 from Northwest Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. After a lapse of three years due to Covid, we were all excited for this weekend gathering,” Melfort Rotary spokesperson Gailmarie Anderson said.

The event has been going on for almost 40 years with the break for COVID-19 included.

“The students were few in number but great in spirit and participation. Our club members were amazing, organizing, driving, feeding, supervising swimming, skiing, sleigh rides, billeting the students and their counsellors and drivers,” she added.

The event was organized as always by Rotary members Mike Mahon and Joyce Claggett.

Melfort Rotary Photo Exchange students pose with Rotary Club of Melfort members and event organizers Mike Mahon and Joyce Claggett at the Bourgault Curling Centre on Sunday, Jan. 21.

Exchange students arrived Friday evening for a chili supper and games at the Legion. Saturday included skiing at Wapiti Valley, swimming at the Northern Lights Palace, a pizza supper and more games and karaoke.

At the banquet Rotary Governor Sonja Susut, Melfort Mayor Glenn George and Melfort MLA Todd Goudy all attended to hand out medals and scarves.

Another tradition includes an RCMP officer leading a parade of students with their flags in a parade of flags. According to Anderson everyone enjoyed curling and visiting. The students all left on Monday morning.

Exchange students included Annie Yrfante (Venezuela), Elis Fantin (Brazil), Isaura Vandierendonck (Belgium), Chicha Jantprpangkul (Thailand), Mykola Blyznyuk (Ukraine), Tristan Schneiders (Germany) and Theodor Kaafjord-Birkeland (Norway).