Sports On Central returns for second consecutive year

Photo by Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Mike Horn of Fresh Air Experience leads the start of a Bike Derby race during Sports On Central on Saturday afternoon.

For the second straight year, athletes and sports fans took over Central Avenue in Prince Albert.

Sports On Central took over downtown Prince Albert on Saturday afternoon. The event featured demonstrations from a variety of different sports organizations around Prince Albert, guest speakers including Stryker Zablocki, Tanner Svenson and Greg Hendricks.

Meghan Mayer, the director for Sports On Central says she was extremely pleased with the amount of community support that the event received.

“I think it has been an incredible turnout. I am over the top with the extra community people that have come out. We’ve got the Mintos and the Raiders that are here and everyone that’s involved. It’s been great and the vibe has been amazing.”

There were some new additions to the event this year with the Fresh Air Experience Bike Derby being held at the same time and the addition of another soccer field and kids zone.

Mayer says the new addition helped the event appeal to families with kids of all ages.

“I think it’s awesome. Last year we were really lacking with the younger age group stuff. Having the kids zone has been an added bonus. By the looks of the painted faces and the happy jumping kids, it was a success.”

This year, Greg Hendricks served as the feature guest speaker for Sports On Central. Hendricks is a former professional basketball player and is a current chaplain in the NFL.

Hendricks made the journey from San Diego, California to Prince Albert to attend the event.

“It’s been fantastic to see the city rally around one event.” Hendricks says. “There’s so much here for families and for kids to engage with. I love seeing the different age demographics as well. There’s nothing like doing something for an entire community where it allows them to engage with each other around sports. I think sports is one of the biggest opportunities to not only bring families together, but to really rally around a vision that it could bring unity and can bring strength and can bring honour to a community.”

After the conclusion of Sports On Central, Hendricks also served as the feature speaker at the Post-Game Men’s Supper hosted by Embassy Church.
Hendricks says he enjoyed seeing all the young kids and families out at the event because of the impact that sports can have on an individual.

“Sports is such a great catalyst to build life skills, to build team skills, self-awareness and self-development skills. I feel like it’s such a great catalytic jumping point for any young person who is inspiring to do great things in their life. I’ve always found that sports is such a great generator for conversation, for growth, for development and I just so happen to have a great background in it. I’ve seen a lot of people really be transformed and really be impacted by being in these types of environments.”