The Saskatchewan Games Council's site selection committee should have no doubt that Estevan wants to host the 2016 Saskatchewan Summer Games, thanks to the efforts of Estevan's bid committee, and the community as a whole, during the site selection group's visit on November 7.
Now comes the toughest part: waiting.
We'll likely know by the end of November whether Estevan is going to host the 2016 games. The site selection committee has now toured all four communities vying for the games. They have surveyed the venues that would be used. They have met community leaders.
The site selection committee has a tough decision. All four communities are worthy candidates. People in Estevan will say we're the best option, but we're biased, just like people in Swift Current, Humboldt and Melfort are going to be biased when they say their community is the best bet.
Estevan's bid committee, and the community as a whole, have done everything they can to bring the Games to Estevan. There shouldn't be any “what ifs.”
Since Estevan's first planning meeting in April, the people at the helm of the bid have worked diligently to find the right individuals to sit on the bid committee, to generate support from the community, and to submit the final bid document. Their social media presence has been strong.
Once Estevan was chosen for the short-list, the bid committee relentlessly promoted the November 7 date, as they encouraged residents and businesses to have signs welcoming the selection committee to the city.
Estevan residents responded accordingly. Even before the site selection committee reached their first stop at the Estevan Comprehensive School, they saw “Energize the Games” posters around the city.
The students at the Comp. did their part, with cheerleaders, a marching band and student athletes wearing their jerseys. Students braved the cool early morning temperatures to stand outside and cheer the site selection and bid committees entered the school.
Community leaders had their chance to articulate their support during a noon luncheon at the Saskatchewan Energy Training Institute. Souris-Moose Mountain MP Ed Komarnicki – who was the event chair when Estevan hosted the 1980 Saskatchewan Summer Games – boldly predicted that if Estevan hosts the Games in 2016, they would be the best ever.
But the most poignant moments of the luncheon came when four local teenage athletes explained why they believe Estevan is the best site for the event.
Facility tours allowed the site selection committee to view the ball diamonds, the soccer pitches, the golf course, the Boundary Dam reservoir, the equestrian facilities, the swimming pool and anything else that will be utilized. They saw where Estevan's new track and field structure will be built regardless of whether Estevan hosts the Games in 2016.
Everybody involved with Estevan's bid should be proud of the local committee and their efforts. It's another example of what this community can do when the people are at its best.
Now we just have to wait and see whether Estevan is chosen for the Games, or if the site selection committee opts for another worthy community.