Inuvik hosted the region’s first northern Territorial Volleyball Tournament on March 1 to 2, where players and fans from communities throughout the Beaufort Delta Region flocked to East Three Secondary School’s gym to participate or enjoy the games.
“We’re hoping this is just the first of many. We’re talking to the school to make this an annual thing,” said Jeffrey Amos, an organizer for the tournament. “We just need to look at what’s happening in the communities so there’s no conflicting dates.”
Five women’s teams and four men’s teams participated in the tournament, where over 20 matches were played. The teams were made up of players who ranged from the ages of 15 to 65, all from communities such as Tuktoyaktuk, Aklavik, Fort McPherson, Tsiigehtchic and Inuvik.
Amos said that when he was growing up, volleyball tournaments were often held in Tuktoyaktuk, Aklavik and Inuvik. He added that the plan is to revive similar volleyball tournaments in the Beaufort Delta region.
“That was huge when I was growing up. My kids weren’t even born yet,” he said. “We’re hoping this is coming back.”
Amos’s daughter, Twyla, was a member of Inuvik’s Team Servaces, who finished first in the women’s division, after defeating Inuvik’s Team Notorious in the finals. For the men’s division, it was the Aklavik Outlaws who finished first following their win over Tuk U.
Players were awarded T-shirts and medals for finishing first in their divisions. Amos said that both winners from the men’s and women’s divisions are looking at participating in the 2019 Volleyball Canada Nationals in Toronto in May.
“Good turnout, good competition,” he added.
The next step, he continued, is to organize another northern Territorial Tournament in surrounding communities.
“We’re talking to people in McPherson and Tuk to see if they’re interested in hosting,” he said.
Amos added that the tournament was sponsored by Inuvik’s Volleyball Club, as well as the NWT Volleyball Association, which is why they refer to it as a territorial tournament.
“It’s a north region (tournament). We have two regions: north and south. Yellowknife is south. They just finished their territorial tournament,” he said.
Although he would’ve liked to see more teams participate, Amos said that he was happy to see all the spectators and families cheer on the players.
“You have a mother, daughter playing on Team Notorious. My daughter was playing, my grandsons were playing. A lot of families,” he said.
While he called volleyball a special one, Amos said that any kind of sport that involves family is important.
“The community comes together when we have events like this,” he said.