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  • Why
    August 22, 2013 - 12:04

    Don and Terry make a good point. Why are our athletes not good enough? They have the drive, determination and heart to play the game. We have lots of talented and skills kids in the province. Why do we have people say they are not good enough. So proud of all our athletes. Watched the opening and closing and viewed the gallery pics on the web site. Looks like it was a thrill of a lifetime.

  • Darlene
    August 20, 2013 - 07:35

    Canada Games are very important as a foundation for our athletes in our province. These games are the dream or goal of so many kids. I disagree with the age limits in some sports should be limited to 18 as varsity sports get the thrill of the AUS. It also would uliminate athletes from outside the province from gaining spots from our NL athletes. Larger pools to select from should not matter if we could get coaches to do the elite training. Maybe we need to send coaches away for the right stuff to help teams reach the success because I know we have qualified athletes. And what was up with one of our PSO sending up a team with athletes from other provinces to represent our province. We had one team up there. Robin Short even recoginized them with a full article. How many hung there heads when they read that. I went through the team lists from every province and we were the only one that did that. It sends a message that we have no faith so lets pick up the throw backs from another province to see if we can place better. These coaches lost a whole lot of respect from there fellow newfoundlanders. I hope we find the problem just to win a few games and show we are capable.

  • SayWhat
    August 19, 2013 - 19:41

    To Jackie Barrett..Nova Scotia most certainly did put all their eggs in one basket. Check out the true barometer of their performance and that is the Centennial Cup standings, And its not the first time Nova Scotia has done this. In the last two Canada Summer Games, Nova Scotia has won 59 canoe/kayak medals. And for this strategy, Nova Scotia finished dead last in the Centennial Cup standings. They showed no improvement from 2009 and actually regressed. NL had a modest improvement from 2009 and finished fifth in the Centennial Cup. Although I have not seen all the Nova Scotia results, They were dead last in Centennial Cup points for Female Cycling, Male Diving and 11th in Triathlon. Those are three sports where NL did better than Nova Scotia.

  • Scott
    August 19, 2013 - 18:16

    I'm a former Games athlete as well (2011 Winter - Judo) and I have to say I do not think facilities are a problem. More or less, we provide equitable facilities and opportunities, and they are getting better all the time. As an ardent soccer and world sport fan, I can tell you population is correlated but not causal with sports results. If you think otherwise, I invite you to suggest that to those "perennial heavyweights" of the World Cup, India and China. Or perhaps to Jamaica, the little country that would fill one US area code that turns out one record breaking sprinter after another. If I were to point out factors that I think handicap our province the most in sport, it's geography, and culture. The former is impossible to beat, and the latter is extremely difficult. Traveling to competitions is simply so expensive and time consuming. What I mean by culture is, without certain role models, idols that break the mold, our athletes will never believe that they belong on the world stage. With the exception of our OIympic curling team, and our ball hockey teams, many sports have this thin veneer that masks the "we can't do it" mentality. This needs to change, and it needs to change in a big way if we hope to make significant strides in sport. Focus on mentality and mental conditioning, and I guarantee you we will see results. One of the biggest surprises, at least for my Games in my sport, was seeing New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, relatively small provinces in their own right, rack up medal after medal in Judo. This is down, I believe, to motivated, targeted coaching that prepared these athletes and made them SURE that they could contend with the best of them. Without that, we are lost.

  • Real Problem
    August 19, 2013 - 18:04

    The real problem is that the population of the island is spread into too many tiny communities. This means that those in the large communities are stuck subsidizing services and utilities to those in tiny places. The province doesn't have the money to put into sports since it barely has the money to support basic healthcare and services. The only solution to the bulk of Newfoundland's problems is another resettlement effort. It's the one thing that Joey Smallwood did that worked.

  • Tim
    August 19, 2013 - 17:49

    I have a novel idea! Let's select players from other provinces to compete for NL. Wait now, the girls volleyball team tried that and they finished 9th. It seems nobody wants to admit that the issue lies with the coaching. Perhaps we should be recruiting winning coaches from other provinces instead of athletes. Our coaches to not have the experience to produce winning teams. Winning teams need heart and soul and it takes a qualified coach to produce that. It's time for the PSO's to step up to the plate and recruit qualified coaches not just ones who have the correct papers.

    • Don
      August 20, 2013 - 15:41

      Tim....you are sore loser my friend. Your daughter wasn't good enough and you can't accept it. Move on Tim.....the New Brunswick girl was way better than your daughter, period.

    • Terry
      August 20, 2013 - 18:01

      If the New Brunswick girl was better and permitted to play then I support her and volleyball. Time for some parents to get over the fact their children/child just isn't good enough.

    • Amazing
      August 20, 2013 - 21:50

      Wow that's harsh. Support is not the convo here buddy. I think the discussion is why are kids are not good enough. Facilities, population, coaches, athletes or financial resources. Thanks for your kind comment. Thanks for pointing out that our NL athletes are not good enough. WOW.

    • Dave
      August 21, 2013 - 05:46

      Terry man that is mean. Help try support the NL players man. We need a solution not insulting remarks that our atletes are not good enough so replace them with NB girls. Wheres your provincial pride man.

    • Penny
      August 21, 2013 - 05:53

      So Terry your suggestion to help Nl improve in the games is to bring in other kids from other provinces to play for NL. Is that your idea of a solution? Bloody brilliant. Let the other provinces train their athletes at their facilities with their coaches and we'll pick them up on our teams and put a team NL coat on them. I hope your on the recruiting staff for 2015 winter games.

    • Robert
      August 21, 2013 - 11:08

      In defence of Terry, if the rule says a New Brunswick girl can play then she should have every right to play. People move here all the time and become citizens of this province.

    • Tim
      August 22, 2013 - 08:12

      Don I am a sore loser. Rightly so. The conversation here is to find out why my kid was not good enough. She has been training since grade seven under our PSO. I have been paying greatly for her to train for 5 years. Training five years in Newfoundland facilities and Newfoundland coaches and Newfoundland resources. Why was she not good enough? That is the solution we are looking for here. Why do two ladies (who are qualified and legally permitted) better! That is the burning question. This situation only points out that Newfoundland has a problem when our athletes that our province trains can be replaced with athletes from another province. It has not once been said those athletes were on the team and not eligible to be there but why! Why were they better!

  • Scott
    August 19, 2013 - 17:48

    I'm a former Games athlete as well (2011 Winter - Judo) and I have to say I do not think facilities are a problem. More or less, we provide equitable facilities and opportunities, and they are getting better all the time. As an ardent soccer and world sport fan, I can tell you population is correlated but not causal with sports results. If you think otherwise, I invite you to suggest that to those "perennial heavyweights" of the World Cup, India and China. Or perhaps to Jamaica, the little country that would fill one US area code that turns out one record breaking sprinter after another. If I were to point out factors that I think handicap our province the most in sport, it's geography, and culture. The former is impossible to beat, and the latter is extremely difficult. Traveling to competitions is simply so expensive and time consuming. What I mean by culture is, without certain role models, idols that break the mold, our athletes will never believe that they belong on the world stage. With the exception of our OIympic curling team, and our ball hockey teams, many sports have this thin veneer that masks the "we can't do it" mentality. This needs to change, and it needs to change in a big way if we hope to make significant strides in sport. Focus on mentality and mental conditioning, and I guarantee you we will see results. One of the biggest surprises, at least for my Games in my sport, was seeing New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, relatively small provinces in their own right, rack up medal after medal in Judo. This is down, I believe, to motivated, targeted coaching that prepared these athletes and made them SURE that they could contend with the best of them. Without that, we are lost.

  • NIck
    August 19, 2013 - 14:07

    Sport is such a small priority in government. It is preaching physical activity and not sport. Throw in an ADM who lives and breathes physical activity, sorry but sport and canada games is hardly on the radar.

    • Jackie Barrett
      August 19, 2013 - 15:13

      Nick, perhaps now is the time for Terry French, Jerome Kennedy, and Kathy Dunderdale to start paying attention and give sport greater priority and here's why. You may not be aware of this, Newfoundland and Labrador will host two national level multi-sport events within the next ten years including the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook and 2021 Canada Summer Games at a location to be announced at a later date. While Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador are playing their part to get more of their athletes to compete at a national level, including grants to clubs starting new Winter sport programs like Curling, Figure Skating, and Snowshoeing and also trying to set up satellite offices across the province, the Newfoundland and Labrador Government has to do their part to ensure our athletes achieve peak performance before they compete at a national level in their own province. As for the Canada Games, the only ways Newfoundland and Labrador will do well is if they encourage their communities to open their recreational facilities year round, particularly Swimming pools, select athletes no later than 10 months in advance, and have training camps similar to the Special Olympics Canada model.

  • Dave
    August 19, 2013 - 13:34

    If you look at the final medal count rankings they are almost identical to the provincial population rankings in Canada. More people to choose from in larger provinces is a huge factor. The more athletes you have, the easier is is to justify spending money on the facilities needed to develop their talents. No matter what facilities we build, we will always have a tough time competing with the much larger provinces with a much larger pool of athletes to choose from.

    • Morgan
      August 19, 2013 - 14:43

      As an athlete who just got back from the 2013 Games yesterday, and also participated in the 2011 Halifax Games I would have to agree with Dave. My team and I trained extremely hard and had 18 practices a week. Our coaching was excellent and we even had an Olympian coach help coach us at points. I don't think it's coaching or facilities, I think it's population. I've gone up twice now and I see the same thing; just bigger people. I can't train to be 6 ft 7 and it would take me years to train to the ability that some people have by genetics. Larger talent pools are teh reasons I think we don't do so well. That being said I'd love new facilities!

    • Jackie Barrett
      August 19, 2013 - 15:04

      Dave and Morgan, I have to disagree with you both and here's why. Take a look at Nova Scotia as an example. Even though they have roughly double the population of Newfoundland and Labrador, they won a total of 56 medals, not just in Canoeing and Kayaking, but other sports like Swimming where Special Olympian, Timothy Ferris, broke the Canada Games record for winning the most medals in one Canada Games. They even beat out larger provinces like Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Mathematically speaking, Nova Scotia won the most medals per capita in Canada. At the end of the day, if Nova Scotia can be in the top of the medal standings despite having a stagnant population level at 7th place, so can Newfoundland and Labrador.

    • david
      August 19, 2013 - 15:19

      Jackie: You just don't get it. I do not want to pay MY tax money...year after year...for the POSSIBILITY of beating Nova Scotia for a medal in something. I don't care one bit. My money is valuable, I have other priorities (as do most other rational Newfoundlanders) than your myopic, irresponsible dream of immaterial glory. Kids should play sports because they like it. However well they do, great. No matter how big a stadiuym we build them, the B.C. or Onmtarion athletes will always have more kids, more facilities, more money, and WAY more medals. That's great for them...they have economies and jobs and public services. When we have a few million kicking around with absolutely nowhere more fundamentally useful or necessary to put it ---- including paying down our provincial debt ---- you just let me know.

    • Brad
      August 20, 2013 - 14:35

      Dave: Then move. Then we won't have to hear your moaning and whining. Problem solved. I could get into way taxes for athletics would be beneficial, but you're probably too much of an eejit to understand.

    • david
      August 20, 2013 - 15:48

      Brad: Were you ever captain of the Newfoundland debating team? Lots of natural talent there. I'm going to keep that one..."Why don't you move then?!"...that's just gold.

  • Greg Walsh
    August 19, 2013 - 11:59

    The athletes trained hard. They were conditioned. I would have to question the coaching. It is great that we are able to have coaches who meet the requirements to coach. They put their hearts and souls into these kids. But what is their record. What stats for success do they have. Are we sending high school coaches with no wins under there belts. Maybe the money should come from paying coaches to teach our athletes to finish. Anybody can have the technical skill to teach you how to play the game but can they teach them how to win the game. I am not blaming the coaches just pointing out that the athletes did their part to train and they needed someone who could help them finish.

    • daniel
      August 19, 2013 - 13:40

      Greg.....best comment yet. Problem is the parents these days. They want all their kids to get equal time, don't discipline my child attitude, so on. Coaches deserve so much credit to even try to coach chiildren this day and age. Volunteering is getting so hard to find. Why should swimming and gymnastics coaches get paid and not others?

  • Anthony
    August 19, 2013 - 11:36

    As long as Terry "spineless" French is running the sports department, we will never improve. He is more concerned with handshakes and give outs than providing meaningful resources to our sports groups.

    • Robert
      August 19, 2013 - 13:43

      I agree with you Anthony. Problem is that we will complain now and two years from now after the next canada games, we will all be saying the same thing again. Time to get sport out of government and into the hands of sport nl.

  • SayWhat
    August 19, 2013 - 11:05

    Two comments: First, those commenting on Nova Scotia's medal haul, they put all their eggs in one basket and won 28 medals in one sport, canoe/kayak. In terms of the Centennial Cup, Nova Scotia was dead last while NL finished fifth. We did show improvement as compared to 2009 but unfortunately it did not reflect in medals. Second, for those thinking the 2021 summer games is a given for St.John's better think again and start thinking outside the box..big time. Believe it or not, Labrador West has a more realistic chance than St.John's in getting those games. After NL, the Canada Games will have a cycle of seeing three out of six Games in the far north. Two will be winter games (NWT and Yukon) and one will be a summer games (Nunavut). Therefore, a community of seven thousand will host a summer games. Hmmm..Labrador West has a population larger than Iqualuit. It's possible and probable that when 2016 (deadline for 2021 bids) rolls around, the Canada Games Council could advance their northern agenda. By holding the games in Labrador, it would mean two out of two and three out of four games in northern areas I would predict if Labrador West got their act together, the Canada Games Council would give it very strong consideration. Think of this, its easier for mainland fans to travel to Labrador West than to St.John's. And if you think outside the box, accommodations would not be a problem.

    • Jackie Barrett
      August 19, 2013 - 14:56

      Saywhat, Nova Scotia didn't put all their eggs in one basket as they won medals in other events as well, particularly Track and Field and Swimming. In fact, one Nova Scotia Special Olympian, Timothy Ferris, broke the Canada Games record for the most medals won in one games. However, because Canada Games rules state that Swimmers with international level experience are not eligible (which is a foolish rule), if Timothy competes at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, which will very likely happen, he won't be allowed to compete at the 2017 Canada Games in Winnipeg. As for Nova Scotia doing well in Canoeing, Kayaking, and Rowing, the reason they are so dominant is they have access to year round training facilities like Lake Banook or Kearney Lake. As for Labrador getting the Canada Summer Games, due to lack of sufficient accommodations coupled with high cost of living, its very unlikely that Labrador West or even Happy Valley-Goose Bay will host it.

  • david
    August 19, 2013 - 08:40

    In every other walk of life, success is what creates more interest, higher profile, and increased investment. That makes perfectly rational sense. But how is it that, in Canadian amateur sports, the exact opposite --- underperformance and failure ---- is trotted out and used as a crutch to extort more money from taxpayers? I'll tell you what: start winning, and just watch the money poor in. Keep losing, and there'll always be a list of a thousand things to better spend it on besides that. Life lesson #1.

    • Jackie Barrett
      August 19, 2013 - 09:48

      David, how do you expect our athletes to do well when we don't have the tools, resources, or facilities to do so? Lets think logically for a second. As you know, many communities in Newfoundland and Labrador don't have adequate year round facilities, especially for sports such as Swimming, Athletics, Rowing, Canoeing, and Kayaking. In the case of Athletics, many major communities in Newfoundland and Labrador don't have suitable indoor and outdoor Track and Field Facilities, especially Stephenville, Corner Brook, Grand Falls-Windsor, and even Gander. In fact, many Track and Field athletes in Gander have to train at a back of an Armed Forces building as they don't have a permanent outdoor or even indoor track, especially the Gander Wings Special Olympics Club. As for why Canada's Amateur athletes often don't perform well in the Summer Olympics, its due to a fact that Canada doesn't have centralized sports schools like China, Russia, Germany, and Australia where athletes get state of the art training and access to athletic based supports on site, especially the Australian Institute of Sport. David, as someone whom doesn't know the concepts of high performance sports, you can't expect athletes to be number one if we don't have the year round facilities, grassroots programs (such as Jamaica), or resources to do so? Think about that before you make negative judgements against Newfoundland and Labrador's finest athletes whom represent this province proud despite lack of proper supports.

    • david
      August 19, 2013 - 12:24

      Jackie, you need to step back, take a deep breath, and get a grip. Newfoundland is never going to be a national sports powerhouse. That is just a pure, irrational pipe dream. Get over it. As far as the question: "....how do you expect our athletes to do well when we don't have the tools, resources, or facilities to do so?" Well, I don't. And I'm more than fine with that. As someone who values health care, and ferry service, and roads, and education and jobs, there are many places to spend my money before tossing into a black hole for athletes.

  • Leo Tobin
    August 19, 2013 - 08:11

    With the problems we are going to have financially as a province who cares about a small group of kids? How about putting the money into something to train them to do a job rather than run or paddle in circles?

    • Jackie Barrett
      August 19, 2013 - 08:34

      Leo Tobin, you're obviously a little shortsighted about athletes competing at the Canada Games, Olympics, Paralympics, or Special Olympics World Games. There are many reasons Newfoundlanders and Labradorians should invest more money in sports, and also competition in national or international level events. For starters, athletes typically have higher marks in school than non-athletes, and they have more skills than just lifting weights, using a paddle, swimming a length, or running 100 Metres. This is due to fact that sport teaches more than just playing a game; it also teaches time management, independent living, leadership, self-confidence, and other life skills. Furthermore, you know that sports and physical activity are also a key to healthy lifestyles, and lower medical costs. Leo Tobin, at the end of the day, when you participate in sport, you're not just training in a particular activity, but also gain skills needed to be employable and keep a job. At the end of the day, remember the old sayings that, "Sports build leaders, leaders build communities" and "good athletes are good students", which both statements speaking the truth.

  • Jackie Barrett - Special Olympian
    August 19, 2013 - 07:25

    While insufficient financial resources are one reason Newfoundland and Labrador bombed out at the 2013 Canada Games, money is just one piece of the poor performance puzzle. The second problem are lack of available year round training facilities as many swimming pools, rowing and canoeing clubs, and athletics facilities across the province don't operate year round but on a seasonal basis. The third problem are that many provincial sport governing bodies are selecting athletes for the Canada Games on very short notice, in some cases, one month before the event as opposed to 10 months to more than a year in advance like Ontario, and also lack of training camps. The final problem which pertains to disabled athletes such as Special Olympians or Paralympians is a lack of a Unified Sports program where a disabled athlete is paired with an able bodied athlete with similar abilities. In a Special Olympics Unified Sport program, a Special Olympian is paired with an able-bodied athlete with a similar ability level, and often train and compete together until the Special Olympian's ability level exceeds their Unified Partner. This program would be extremely beneficial to elite level Special Olympians such as Floressa Harris or Chris Dugas. One thing is for sure, we can't use small population as an excuse since Nova Scotia has a small population, but won a total of 56 medals, ranked fifth overall in the Canada Games Medal Standings and even beating out larger provinces like Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In other words, if a small province like Nova Scotia can be in the top five, so can Newfoundland and Labrador if things are done right.