The approximate $45,000 price tag was looked after through a generous donation of $10,000 by the Daryl K. Seaman Canadian Hockey Fund and another $14,390 from the provincial government’s Building Sustainable Communities fund. The remainder was covered by the Games Capital Fund created jointly by the Manitoba Winter Games Committee and the Town of Niverville in preparation for the 2022 Games.
“It was through Sport Manitoba that we heard of the Daryl K. Seaman Canadian Hockey Fund at the Calgary Foundation,” says Chantel Todd, Niverville’s recreation programmer. “When the town was bidding for the 2022 Manitoba Winter Games, and before the committee was formed, the town applied for the fund at the Calgary Foundation for the purchase of the UTV.”
Despite the cancellation of this year’s games, Todd says the grant money was awarded anyway in order to provide the community’s residents with professionally groomed ski trails as a legacy.
Niverville was awarded the honour of hosting the 2022 Manitoba Winter Games, which had been scheduled to run from February 27 to March 5.
Due to uncertainty regarding the pandemic, questions arose as to how to safely execute an event of this magnitude if the viral spread was still prolific in early 2022.
Training for the more than 1,500 athletes had also been compromised.
“Over the last 18 months, inconsistencies in competition and training opportunities had an effect on athlete development,” reads a statement on the Sport Manitoba website. “Without regular training, conditioning, and recovery routines in this crucial stage, the risk of injury, mental fatigue, and overtraining were also factors in making this decision.”
Niverville has since been granted the first right of refusal to host the 2026 Games, which take place every four years.
In the meantime, Todd says the UTV will still come in very handy for the creation of winter ski trails and park maintenance in the spring, summer, and fall seasons.
Brenda Sawatzky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Niverville Citizen