Calgary athletes are making friends out of once enemies on their Alberta Summer Games (ASG) teams.

This story also appeared in LiveWire Calgary

The bi-annual ASG is gearing up for its kickoff in Calgary’s backyard. 

The 2023 ASG is being hosted in Okotoks and Black Diamond from July 20 to 23. The games will welcome athletes from all over Alberta between the ages of 11 and 17. This premiere youth athletics display will feature 14 sports including lacrosse, basketball, baseball, swimming and rugby.

The 2023 Alberta Summer Games are being hosted in Okotoks and Black Diamond from July 21 to 23. CONTRIBUTED.

Representatives from the 2023 ASG office said the association is anticipating roughly 10,000 attendees with 3,000 of them being athletes from across the province. As a way to support the expected influx of people, the association for the games has recruited nearly 1,000 volunteers.

“It’s a great opportunity for our community, not only from an economic standpoint but also from a volunteer standpoint to get people re-engaged in our community,” said Marica Borovich-Law, games manager. 

The ASG has been around since 1974 and have been a pivotal stepping stone in young athletes’ journeys. Some athletes who have participated in the games have gone on to represent their communities in the Canada Games and even the Olympics. 

Borovich-Law said that the games are great for social engagement for the athletes, offering opportunities for national and international competitions. Borovich-Law also said that the games bring scouts from various universities and colleges looking to assess the next generation of athletes. 

Calgary Athletes take on the Alberta Summer Games

Calgary-based athletes Ryan Montgomery and Haiden Hall, both 13, will be competing on teams in this year’s Alberta Summer Games for the first time. Both athletes said that one thing they’ve both noticed is how they’ve gone from competing against their now-teammates to having to work together and supporting each other. 

“We were all on different club teams and we all played each other, we didn’t really like each other because we had that competition there. I think it was nice that we had to be together and it’s nice now because we’re all friends,” said Hall. 

Hall has played basketball since she was 6 or 7 years old, and dedicated much of her time to training and playing basketball through the years. Her mother Annie, added that Haiden has only ever had two months of the year off from basketball. This year, Haiden will be competing on the Zone 3 Alberta basketball team for the ASG. 

Haiden Hall (left), Zone 3 Alberta Summer Games basketball team member, with her Mother Annie Hall. CONTRIBUTED.

Montgomery, captain of the Zone 3 lacrosse team has been playing lacrosse since he was four years old. He has spent much of his time playing lacrosse in different aspects since then, continuing to strength train in the off-season. 

“I’m happy that the coach has found me as a leader on the team, that was a good accomplishment for me,” said Montgomery. 

Montgomery also noted that having the games so close to Calgary will help his family be able to come to watch and support him without the worry of finding accommodations. 

Both athletes would like to pursue their sport in their futures at university or college, finding this opportunity key to eventually making that jump.

For more information on events and locations, visit the Alberta Summer Games website.

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Isabella West is a fourth-year Journalism student at MRU. She completed her work term over the summer of 2023 at LiveWire Calgary in partnership with the Calgary Journal.