By Tina Comeau
By week’s end the population of Yarmouth County is going to swell by around 1,400 athletes, coaches and chaperones who are coming for the Finale of Les Jeux de l’Acadie.
And this doesn't include family members who will also make the trip.
Two years of planning and preparation have gone into the Acadian Games, which will see sporting events kick off on Saturday morning, June 30, and wrap up on Tuesday, July 3. The final day of the games will see medal rounds for track and at École secondaire de Par-en-Bas constructed specifically for this event,
Athletes will start arriving on Friday with their sleeping bags in tow. The male athletes will be housed at Maple Grove Education Centre, with the female athletes bunking at École secondaire de Par-en-Bas and École Belleville.
“We are finishing all the loose ends and ensuring that all is in place when the athletes arrive,” Gwen LeBlanc of the organizing committee said last week.
Hotels, campgrounds and bed and breakfasts will provide accommodations for families traveling with the athletes. Estimates have been that this event will have an economic impact for the area of around $1.35 million.
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Businesses are being encouraged to roll out the welcome mat, or in this case the bienvenue mat.
An organizing committee and several sub-committees have been working to hard to prepare for the games. Hundreds of volunteers – its estimated between 800 and 1,000 are required for an event of this scale – have been recruited for the games. In saying this, as of last week the committee said they could still use more volunteers.
Aside from the sporting events, other highlights of the games are the opening and closing ceremonies, being held at the Mariners Centre that are open to the public. The opening ceremony takes place Saturday, June 30, at 7:30 p.m. and the closing ceremony is Tuesday, July 3, at 3:30 p.m. There is a $2 admission at the door for both events.
For more info on the Finale des Jeux de l’Acadie visit: 2012.jeuxdelacadie.org.