Recreation leaders go to school

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Recreation co-ordinators and directors around the NWT are always looking to find ways to provide programming.

They got a chance to learn what to do and how to do it this week as the School of Community Government (SCG), which operates under the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, hosted its Northern Recreation Leadership course, which happened from Oct. 14 to 18. The goal was to teach what leadership is and what it means to the sports and recreation sector.

Mike Yakabuski, the SCG’s manager of training and development, led the course and said he wanted to show the students how to become stronger as leaders.

“There’s such things as how to initiate things in your community, how they can learn to work with people and communicate better, how they can work with teens and groups of people,” he said.

Part of that learning was through group activities. For example, the students took part in a scavenger hunt around the city which finished up at Somba K’e park along with taking part in workshops with guest speakers.

Yakabuski said there were also talks on the challenges communities face in putting recreation programs together.

A group of 10 people in the recreation field from around the NWT descended upon Yellowknife to take part in the Northern Recreation Leadership course, run by the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs' School of Community Government. They are, clockwise from left, Jennifer Zoe of Behchoko, Emma Eggertson of Tulita, Loyal Oskenekisses of Wrigley, Stephanie Peterson of Fort McPherson, Heather Sanderson of Lutsel K'e, Tyler Jumbo of Sambaa K'e, Carla Kenny of Deline, Tyler Auger of Sambaa K'e, Victoria Wedawin of Whati and Angela Ruben of Paulatuk. James McCarthy/NNSL photo.
A group of 10 people in the recreation field from around the NWT descended upon Yellowknife to take part in the Northern Recreation Leadership course, run by the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs’ School of Community Government. They are, clockwise from left, Jennifer Zoe of Behchoko, Emma Eggertson of Tulita, Loyal Oskenekisses of Wrigley, Stephanie Peterson of Fort McPherson, Heather Sanderson of Lutsel K’e, Tyler Jumbo of Sambaa K’e, Carla Kenny of Deline, Tyler Auger of Sambaa K’e, Victoria Wedawin of Whati and Angela Ruben of Paulatuk. James McCarthy/NNSL photo.

“Recreation leaders are aware of the issues that can sometimes be in a community, such as drugs and alcohol, the legacy of residential schools, things like that,” he said. “It’s a real mix of a lot of things that recreation leaders need to know to be strong in their communities.”

A total of 10 people from several communities took part in the week-long course and all of them were either recreation co-ordinators, recreation directors or youth directors in their home communities, he added.

This particular course is part of a larger program known as the Community Recreation Leadership Program and once they complete the program, they will receive their certification.

“There are seven required courses that they take: five core courses and two electives,” said Yakabuski. “They receive their certificate for completing this one and then they work on the other ones. Some of them have already completed courses so they’re continuing to work toward their full certification.”

The full program itself is similar to the Recreation North program, which is being rolled out by the NWT Recreation and Parks Association (RPA) next month, and Yakabuski said Recreation North is a compliment to what’s being offered by the RPA.

“The RPA is a partner of ours and if they want to get their full certification, they can complete the Recreation North training and that’s equal to two electives,” he said. “We merge in a way where they can take some of their training through Recreation North and some of it through us.”

Tyler Auger of Sambaa K’e was one of the students in the course and he said it was a great week to learn.

“We learned how to be better leaders and how to recognize problems in our communities with our youth,” he said. “I learned a lot this week … We all have a better understanding of how we can help give the community more to do.”

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After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better part of the last 10 years over two stints. I’m living the dream of everyone who said they would never get married and never have kids with the best wife you could ask for putting up with my crap for the past 11 years along with two daughters who are more beautiful than yours. Forever outnumbered when it comes to house choices, at least the dog has my back ... whenever I feed him. When you see sports happening, call the hotline at 867 766 8257.

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