Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Booster club asks Pincher Creek Town Council for help with 2016 1A Boys Basketball Provincials

Christian Davis

Karina Cail and Paul Erickson appeared as a delegation before Pincher Creek's Town Council on Monday evening, November 23 on behalf of the Livingstone School Sports Booster Club (LSSBC). Livingstone School will be hosting the Alberta Schools Athletic Association (ASAA) 1A Boys Basketball Provincials March 17 to 19, 2016, and the delegation asked for help from the Town to do so. William Cail was also in attendance and answered some of council's questions on behalf of the delegation. While hosted by Livingstone, the tournament will actually be held at Matthew Halton High School in Pincher Creek, because Livingstone School doesn't have the seating capacity for the anticipated crowds.

The friendly arrangement between Livingstone and Matthew Halton schools was proven to be a success when Livingstone hosted the 2012 ASAA 1A Girls basketball provincials at Matthew Halton. "Pincher Creek works out so well," said Erickson. "It's got motels, it's got restaurants, it's got everything here."

"This is a chance to showcase our area to a wide variety of visitors from all over the province."

"What we want to do is make it a really great experience for the kids. We want them to bring back not only memories of being in a beautiful town, and experience what goes on around here, but let them bring back stuff."

According to Erickson, approximately 170 players and coaches can be expected to attend the tournament, added to by a significant number of family members. Last year approximately 20 Livingstone parents attended the 1A Boys Provincials in Hines Creek, a 10 to 12 hour drive from Pincher Creek, where Livingstone's 1A Boys Sabres earned Silver. The year before that the Sabres placed 4th at Provincials. This year's Sabres lineup will be significantly the same as last year's team.

"Our team does very well," said Erickson. "We represent the area pretty well. We got second place last year, we are hoping for first place, you never know. We have a good squad out there, a good bunch of kids."

Breakfast and evening banquets are expected to be a significant cost of hosting the tournament, and will be held at Pincher Creek Community Hall. Erickson explained there will also be gift bags for the participating athletes. "We are looking for support. We are going to a lot of different businesses, and looking for support." That support will be welcomed in any form, including monetary support for the dinner and entertainment at it, and items for the gift bags. "The parents and I can only do so much."

"I guess we are here to see about getting any more support from the Town to help out to do a pretty good job of hosting this."

Mayor Don Anderberg was enthusiastic about the event, commenting that it will help showcase the community. He suggested passes to the swimming pool for participants might be an option, and free access to other sporting sites owned by the Town. Erickson said that items like that would be appreciated as the visitors are active families with a lot of down time. He also joked "We were thinking about sending all the competing teams we are having troubles with ski passes for the day. We doubt they'll take us up on that one."

Mayor Anderberg said "From the Town's point of view, we are quite willing to help, where we can." He also explained the delegation process: A delegation makes a presentation, and it is then discussed by council at a later time and (usually) at later date.

William Cail offered information packages to Council outlining some of the fundraising for the event which has gone on up to now, which he said has raised over $2,000 dollars to date, plus donated items. He said students are currently selling Subway cards, expected to earn another $2,000 for the event. "It is a great venue to showcase a community."

"It's about a $20,000 event, a big number, and we have done a bunch of work already, and got some commitments from the community on funding and stuff before we came here."

Erickson explained the event is not allowed to be hosted for a profit even though there are entry fees and a cost to attend the banquet. "Any money we make over and above, that just goes to our sports booster club."

"One of our fundamentals is we believe all the children should have the right to play," said William Cail. He also mentioned that at the recent Livingstone School Italian Night Dinner at least one pie sold for $1,000. "When small communities get together, it is amazing what we can achieve."

Unofficial Livingstone 1A Senior Boys Sabres 2015/16 Basketball Team roster:
Jonathan Erickson
Logan Kaak
Levi Sekella
Justyn Connelly-Engel
Cole Schweb
Brandon Hilbert
Brady Douglas
Ross Cook
Eric Cadonic
Ethan Paridaen
Chris Cail
Quinlan Connelly-Engel

(4 in grade 10, 3 in grade 11, 5 in grade 12)

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