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Mayor Dean Ball appreciates the regional support in hosting 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games

Deer Lake Mayor Dean Ball talks about Deer Lake playing host to the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games as guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Corner Brook weekly meeting Thursday at Greenwood Inn & Suites in Corner Brook.
Deer Lake Mayor Dean Ball talks about Deer Lake playing host to the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games as guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Corner Brook weekly meeting Thursday at Greenwood Inn & Suites in Corner Brook. - Dave Kearsey

It’s always good to see when communities pull together.

Deer Lake Mayor Dean Ball shared that message with members of the Rotary Club of Corner Brook when he spoke about Deer Lake taking the lead role in hosting the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games with a number of neighbours playing a helping hand in putting out the welcome mat.

The Games are only 56 days away and Ball has seen the excitement level continue to climb in the airport town as the Games draw near.

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Deer Lake will host the majority of the sports for the week, but Rocky Harbour, Pasadena, Steady Brook and Corner Brook will provide venues that were great fits for the respective disciplines they will host.

“It’s a regional process and I’m excited about the way it draws all of our communities together,” Ball said. “Even though Deer Lake is spearheading it we wouldn’t be able to do it without the supporting communities in our region.”

Ball said over 2,000 people, including athletes and coaches, are expected to converge on the west coast for the Games and he appreciates having the support of the other communities because Deer Lake wouldn’t be able to accommodate such a large group when it’s only a town with a population just over 5,500 people.

He figures it’s going to take close to 500 volunteers to stage the Games and there are already 350 people registered as volunteers so he doesn’t foresee any problems recruiting more and there’s a number of promotions in the works to help create more energy and excitement over the Games.

Tryouts for various western teams for the Games are expected to be clewed up this week so Mayor Ball is looking forward to the release of the list of athletes who will wear the Western logo at the Games.

It’s a chance for athletes to shine in their respective discipline, but Mayor Ball said the host committee is focused on planning some extra-curricular events for the athletes to keep them engaged when not competing.

“We want to make this a very exciting week for our athletes,” he said. “Most of them are going to be very young and we want to make sure this is a lifelasting experience for them.”

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