The 34th annual Tlu-piich Games were a huge success says Richard Samuel, the games coordinator.
Hosted by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, the Tlu-piich Games is a celebration and gathering of Nuu-chah-nulth and Indigenous Nations of all ages to showcase a healthy, balanced lifestyle through family-oriented activities and sports.
“The importance of the games is to bring all of our Nuu-chah-nulth people together to provide activities and provide life-long memories for the athletes and the spectators,” Samuel said. “All together there were over 2,000 children and families, spectators and athletes for the 2016 Games.”
The games are geared towards being a family fun event.
Running from Wednesday, Aug. 10 to Sunday, Aug. 14 the games included a track and field competition, canoe races, three-on-three basketball, language and cultural activities, a lacrosse clinic and to wrap up the events a slo and fast-pitch tournament.
For the slo-pitch tournament High Times took first place, the Somass Guardians took second and in third was the Mercedes Team. The most sportsmanlike award went to the Happy Campers.
In the fast-pitch tournament Thunder took first place, in second were the Howlers, coming in third were the Native Sons and the Keltsmaht Shakers took home most sportsmanlike.
Samuel said although temperatures in the Alberni Valley were quite hot during the games, no events were cancelled because of the heat.
The three-on-three basketball tournament was held at the Alberni Athletic Hall on Day 2 of the events with three divisions, including 13 and under, 17 and under and a senior division.
The first-place team in the 13 and under division was Ahousaht (Savannah) and in second was Ahousaht.
For the 17 and under division first place went to Ahousaht and second to United Nations.
For the senior division team RJ took home first place and in second was Witwaak.
In order to sustain the games, Samuel said sponsors and fundraising are essential.
Prior to the games a golf tournament fundraiser, Swing Fore Tlu-piich, was held in July at the Alberni Golf Club with a live and silent auction that helped bring in more than $9,000 to help fund this year’s Tlu-piich Games.
“It’s a huge cost to host these events,” Samuel said. “Without sponsorship and without participation from the golf tournament these games would not function.”