Starting at the Grassroots Level
The local Wood Buffalo sports scene has grown significantly over the last decade, and it’s all due to grassroots organizations...sweat from local volunteers and outstanding athletes. We now have even more avenues to recognize our local athletes, through groups like the Wood Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.
To sat things have accelerated recently would be an understatement. While Fort McMurray and the surrounding communities have always produced amazing athletes, we haven’t always had the programs and facilities to let them grow to their full potential.http://www.yourmcmurraymagazine.com/administrator/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&layout=edit&id=302#
One only has to look at football as a shining example of how to grow a sport in a community from a grassroots level. When I was in high school, there was no local football program in Fort McMurray. But due to some hard-working pigskin die-hards and the support of our school districts, the Father Mercredi Trappers football program was born… and football in Wood Buffalo has grown more and more each year. From a joint “tri-high” team, to now having multiple school teams that represent their own school and a variety of levels for weekend football development, we have a program that would make other communities jealous.
Football in Wood Buffalo has been so successful, that we now have a successful program in our rural communities like Anzac, the Fort McMurray Monarchs adult team has formed, there is an amazing facility being built with SMS Stadium at Shell Place, the Canadian Junior Football League is sniffing around the community exploring the possibility of a local team and a CFL pre-season game is scheduled for 2015.
Now THAT’S how you build a successful culture of sports in a community.
I personally can’t wait to see this model replicated for other sports. We’ve always had fantastic programs for sports like hockey, baseball, gymnastics, figure skating and more, but now we’re seeing non-traditional local sports pick up steam locally due to support at the grassroots level. Fort McMurray now has a cricket pitch due to the dedication of local residents. Additional beach volleyball courts are in the works. And golf is now one of the most popular sports in the entire community with expansions and new courses on the horizon.
Sports is alive and well in Wood Buffalo. With our community expanding and more amenities being added all over the region, things are only going to get better… and it all starts at that grassroots level with you!
Picture courtesy of Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo.