On Nov. 21, in recognition of the belief that good sport can make a great difference, the 2020 Arctic Winter Games have been declared a True Sport event.
True Sport is a series of programs and initiatives designed to give people, communities and organizations the means by which to leverage the many benefits of good sport from a platform of shared values and principles.
The True Sport principles are: go for it, play fair, respect others, keep it fun, stay healthy, include everyone and give back.
AWG general manager Moira Lassen was involved in the Sport We Want conference in 2002 where True Sport was envisioned.
“I was involved in the Sport We Want conference in 2002,” said Lassen. “It was a lot of national sports individuals coming together over a weekend in Ottawa talking about what we wanted to do as a nation? What do we believe what sport is? Out of that came the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and the True Sport movement.”
Lassen said True Sport values align closely with those of the AWG and that the International Committee and the delegations were happy for the Whitehorse AWG to join.
“The international committee was excited about it,” said Lassen. “It comes from the leadership of the president, the executive committee and the board of management to understand that the True Sport principles are all about the AWG.
“And having the staff excited to get the work done and to live by these principles.”
Lassen said the principles encompass everything and are more than just a guideline for the athletes.
“We want everyone to be included in the games whether they are volunteer, participant, cultural, coach, mission staff and spectator,” said Lassen. “They aren’t too complicated principles they are very forthright and straightforward and easy for a majority of individuals to understand.”
Karri Dawson, senior director, quality sport at the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport said she was excited the 2020 AWG committed to the True Sport values.
“We are very pleased that the 2020 Arctic Winter Games has demonstrated a commitment to values-based and principle-driven sport by making a True Sport declaration,” said Dawson.
“When sport is fair, inclusive and fun, Canadians and their communities are able to reap the many benefits associated with a positive sport experience. Good luck to all the athletes who will be competing - we’ll be cheering you on as you pursue personal excellence.”
Joining True Sport, Lassen hopes it leaves a lasting legacy on the Games.
“I do like to leave a place better off than where I found it. I believe we are creating this legacy for Whitehorse and the AWG itself. We know Whitehorse has hosted multiple games and we know we can host a good games.
“We have the transportation and the food services and of course the facilities. We are a nice friendly group to come and visit but what can we do for these games to make them just that much better and this is one of the things we can do.
“It is a celebration of what the last 50 years represented but what can we do to make sure that these last another 50 years.”