Over 1,000 athletes compete at Acadian Games
The 33rd annual Jeux de l’Acadie, which wrap up today in Yarmouth County, are about more than just athletics, says games organizer Chris Frotten.
“They are about competition, but they are also about culture, friendship and leadership," Frotten said.
About 1,100 children, ages 10 to 16, and 200 chaperons converged on Argyle on Friday to kick off the regional Acadian Games.
Those numbers don’t include the additional 2,000 family, fans and 800 volunteers who are also participating in the games. The closing ceremonies are this afternoon.
“They are here for a much bigger purpose than just sports," Frotten said. The games are all about celebrating their Acadian roots and cultural traditions.
Acadians in Nova Scotia are considered a minority, Frotten said, so the opportunity to get together with fellow Acadians helps to create bonds and hopefully develop the Acadian leaders of tomorrow.
“It’s always good to remind us that we are part of a bigger family."
Young athletes from Acadian communities in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are participating.
This is the second time the games have been held in Nova Scotia. Halifax hosted the event in 2008. Children compete in athletics, badminton, basketball, mini handball, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.
In the evenings, the athletes participate in cultural activities. One of the highlights of this year’s games, Frotten said, happened Sunday night when the children spent the evening at Le Village historique acadien de la Nouvelle-Ecosse playing the types of Games and eating the sorts of foods typical of the early 1900s.
Next year’s games will be held in Richibucto, N.B., and then in Bathurst, N.B., in 2014.