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Tag: KidSport

Full moon against a blue sky

Annual fundraiser for KidSport set for Saturday

Pincher Creek’s annual Moon Shadow Run returns this Saturday, Sept. 23.

Volunteer director Alecia Williams calls the race, started by John Verhagen, an annual family fun event.

“We have three different distances again this year — 2.5 kilometres, 5 and 10K. We usually have the most people in the 2½, kids with their parents or people who would rather walk … so we offer something for everyone,” Alecia says.

“All three courses will wind their way close to the creek,” she adds.

“For the 2½ and 5K, you actually head east towards Highway 6.”

The 2.5-kilometre portion will go to the highway and back behind the pool, where the starting line is.

The 5K route will begin east, then back west to the gazebo and return to the starting line.

“The 10K goes west toward the Community Hall and does a loop in that direction, and there will be water stations along the route,” Alecia says.

Entry fee is $25 and, like in years past, all monies raised will go to the KidSportCanada program but will be used locally.

 

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The idea is to provide financial support for families whose children might not otherwise be able to take part in sports.

Funding of up to $300 per year, per child, is offered to local families.

The business community also does its part to keep the event going, Alecia says, with sponsors helping to cover the costs. Their names are put on the back of race T-shirts as a way to recognize their support.

This year’s event will begin at 6:30 p.m., but you can register beginning at 4. All indications are that the weather will co-operate, with a forecast of sun and cloud and temperatures reaching 20 C.

With it likely to cool off quickly, layering is recommended.

“After the run, we’ll have snacks and an environment to hang out after, to cheer on the remaining runners to the finish line. So, having a few extra layers is really a good thing,” Alecia says.

One final ask: With narrow spots along parts of the trail and the chance of runners and walkers going in opposite directions, event organizers are urging that child strollers (buggies) and participants of the four-legged variety be left at home.

Should be lots of fun. Hope to see you there!

Two football players, white jersey carrying the ball

Football Canada’s new roster rules shroud Mustangs in uncertainty

For three decades, Mustangs football has been a staple of support for the development of children in Pincher Creek. However, new roster rules are jeopardizing the program’s operations.

In January, the Mustangs received an email from Football Alberta stating that Football Canada had made changes to its roster rules that took effect Jan. 1.

In accordance with the new roster rules, teams looking to play nine-a-side football, with less than 17 registered players before the season starts, will be ineligible for league play in the 2023-24 season. 

Football Canada has informed provincial football associations of the changes and these associations will enforce the new rules accordingly.

“I’m just so worried that we’re going to lose football,” says Faith Zachar, president of the Pincher Creek and District Mustangs Football Society.

“For 29 years, we’ve had a lot of children go through the program and we have seen them grow and support each other, while learning the game.”

“We have second-generation players now,” she says. “Their fathers played way back when we first started, and now their children are playing, so I think that shows that it’s been a real benefit to the town.” 

The program has struggled to recruit local youths to register for football since the Covid-19 pandemic, but has managed to get by. Now, without community involvement, Mustangs operations will be heavily impeded.

 

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Currently, the Mustangs boast senior, bantam and peewee football teams. However, none of them have enough registered players to be eligible for league play. Five seniors, nine bantams and five peewees are currently registered.

If the Mustangs fail to register enough players for at least one of the teams by Aug. 26, it will be the first time in the program’s history it has failed to field a team, with the exception of the pandemic period.

“We’ve had a few years where maybe we lost one of the teams because we didn’t have enough players, but we always had at least two teams in the league that we’re in, and I’d hate to see it all go down,” Faith says. 

What the suspension of play could mean for the Mustangs remains unclear, but failing to have a team play in the regular season would do the program and its athletes no favours.

Cord Delinte, a Mustangs alumnus, can certainly speak to the positive impact the Mustangs can have on a youth’s upbringing. 

Having played a successful five-year football career at the University of Regina, the skills and lessons Cord picked up with the Mustangs took him all the way to the 2019 CFL Western Regional combine.

“The Mustangs had a huge impact on me growing up,” he says. “It kept me out of a ton of trouble, and obviously brought me to a much higher level of football, and I owe all that to the Mustangs.”

He emphasizes that community involvement and support are necessary for the Mustangs to thrive, and that in return, the program can help support local youths in ways that go beyond football.

 

 

“I found that when I played, there were so many kids that were kind of oddballs or didn’t fit in or had trouble socially, and then they found this outlet where everybody came together as a team,” he says.

“The beautiful thing about football is there’s a spot for every kid, every body type has a position in football, and I think it’s beautiful when you can actually get all these different kids together.”

For parents with concerns about safety, Faith offers assurance that the program takes the safety of its athletes very seriously.  She notes that coaches are trained in safe contact and proper tackling techniques, and that the program’s history of player injuries is sparse. 

“We do everything we can to keep everybody safe,” she says.   

The Mustangs hold practices every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m., for all three teams, at Matthew Halton Field. Those interested in registering to join the Mustangs can do so at their next practice on Aug. 26. 

It costs $275 to register your child for the season and KidSport support is available for those that are eligible for financial assistance. Kidsport Pincher Creek can be reached at 403-627-4322.

If you’re interested in registering your child for the Mustangs but can’t make it to practice this week, you can contact Faith Zachar at 403-627-7751 or faithzachar@hotmail.com, or Shannon Schoening at 403-795-5710 or uc6ranch@gmail.com.

Three women, Faith Zachar with grey hair, glasses and purple sweater, Alecia Williams with long blonde hair, turquoise ball cap and blue winter coat, and Rhonda Oczkowsi with shoulder-length dark brown hair and two-tone brown shirt, hold a giant cheque

Donation helps Pincher Creek kids do sports

Representatives of the Moon Shadow Run committee presented a cheque for $1,400 to Pincher Creek’s KidSport chapter this winter.

KidSport is a charity that helps Canadian youths and their families overcome financial hurdles to becoming more active.

“I believe it’s vital to the town because we want to keep children involved in sports and recreational activities,” says Faith Zachar, a member of committees for both KidSport and the Moon Shadow Run.

“It’s important that we raise some money so that KidSport can assist kids with getting into a sport, whether it’s baseball, basketball, soccer or whatever.”

 

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Funds were raised in September 2022 during the annual Moon Shadow Run, which has been a town tradition since 2015.

“Getting people out on our town path as a whole family, and knowing it’s supporting a great cause, is very rewarding,” says Alecia Williams, who chairs the Moon Shadow Run committee. “It’s so much fun.”

The event is a fun family run for all ages, featuring 2.5-kilometre, five-kilometre and 10-kilometre routes on gentle rolling shale trails along the creek.

Both Faith and Alecia were adamant about how important it is to them to not only help kids get active through KidSport, but to see them participate in the run as well.

 

 

“Running for me is a great, easy way to take care of my mental and physical health, so it’s important to me that kids are active in that way and reaping those benefits,” says Alecia.

The Moon Shadow Run will return to Pincher Creek in September, so if you are interested in participating, make sure to keep an eye out for details.

 

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