A donation of sports equipment from an Edmonton charitable organization to youth in Aklavik and Ulukhaktok will be put to good use this weekend at the Annual Gwich’In Cup in Inuvik.
Sport Central donated the equipment in February and August of 2019 with help from the RCMP.
Cpl. Chris Whynot is the Detachment Commander of Aklavik RCMP and is also a hockey coach in the region.
“I witnessed a lot of frustration and missed opportunity from kids as they weren’t allowed to play, due to lack of equipment, or didn’t want to play due to improper fits and severe wear and tear,” Cpl. Whynot said.
In a news release, the RCMP stated “The donation was a joint effort from several partners, including Sport Central, the hamlets’ recreation programs and the RCMP in both detachments. All transportation was donated as well.”
The donated equipment traveled roughly 2000 km from its point of origin in Edmonton and arrived by barge to Ulukhaktok.
“The community was so excited. Several people stopped by just to see the boxes of gear as they arrived,” recalls Cpl. Whynot. “We have witnessed a decline in the youth crime rate in both communities. The hamlets and the GNWT, while offering recreation programs and healthy choices for the youth, no doubt have contributed to this result.”
The communities received boxes of hockey sticks, hockey bags full of equipment and goalie gear. The donation was enough to equip at least 200 kids with good quality equipment.
“RCMP in Aklavik and Ulukhaktok would like to thank Sport Central and all the partners and community members who donated their time to make this happen,” RCMP stated.