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NAIG Games: Volunteer To Be Part Of The Solution

North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) Volunteering

NAIG Games: Volunteer To Be Part Of The Solution

The North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) is an important event that is dedicated to improving the lives of indigenous youth who live in Canada and the United States. You can be part of this! If you have a passion for sport and would like to help others, keep reading to learn more about the NAIG and why you should volunteer at one of these events.    

Quick Overview

Sport can have a major impact on society.  The North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) use sport’s influential power to support indigenous peoples and improve their quality of life.  This is done by giving indigenous youth exclusive access to participate in sport competitions.  

Although the dream began in the 1970s, it wasn’t until 1990 that the first event took place.  Since then, there have been nine additional events in both Canada and the United States. 

Today’s games include many different sports for indigenous youth from Canada and the United States.  Eligible participants are 13-19 years old. 

North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) Sports

Here is a list of sports you will find at one of these events:

  • Archery
  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Canoe/Kayay
  • Golf
  • Rifle
  • Shooting
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling      

As you can see, there are many opportunities for all different kinds of athletes, making this a diverse and exciting experience.  Wouldn’t you like to be part of something like that?

NAIG In Toronto

Although not initially planned, the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) recently took place in Toronto in 2017.  The original plan to hold this major event in the United States fell through, causing Ontario to step up and save the day. 

In the end, the tenth NAIG was held in Toronto thanks to the combined efforts of:

  • The City of Toronto
  • Indigenous communities throughout Ontario
  • The Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO)

Once the winning bid for Toronto had been secured, the responsibility of managing the event was given to a non-profit organization called Toronto 2017 NAIG.

This organization was faced with the daunting task of planning and preparing for the games in one year and fives days.  In an impressive display of dedication and commitment, Toronto 2017 NAIG succeeded in organizing a great event.  Just as a side note, this whole episode shows how important it is to have a plan!

The event occurred July 16th through the 23rd, with about 2,000 volunteers helping to make it happen. But without these willing volunteers, the 2017 NAIG wouldn’t have happened.

That is where you come in!

Why Volunteer at the
North American Indigenous Games (NAIG)?

As you can probably imagine, such a large event takes many volunteers.  Your help is needed.

Although the 2017 games are over, volunteers will be just as necessary at the next event. All you need is the desire to help.  If you want to make a positive difference in the world and you love using sport to accomplish that, you are the perfect candidate for a volunteer position!  

Still not convinced it’s worth your time?  Just take a moment to look more closely at the benefits of volunteering at the NAIG.  After reading some more about it, you won’t be able to pass by this unique opportunity.

Develop Your Skills

Any volunteer position, no matter the venue or organization, will give you skills and experiences that have long-term benefits.  Gaining these skills through volunteer hours earns you the right to put them on your resume.  Employers love to see hands-on experience, so this will really stand out when you start looking for your first job.

If you think you want a career in sport, get ahead now by volunteering at sport events and organizations, such as the NAIG. 

Just to give an example, here are some of the skills the Toronto NAIG volunteers were able to learn:

  • Event Management
  • Customer Service
  • Accreditation
  • Emergency/Medical Services
  • Sport Management
  • Media
  • Medal Ceremonies
  • Photography
  • Protocol
  • Social Media
  • IT

See how volunteering can expose you to a wide range of experiences that develop skills you wouldn’t normally have the chance to learn?

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Be Part of Something Bigger Than Yourself

The North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) is an important event for the indigenous youth of North America.  Its purpose is to improve their lives. Don’t you want to be part of the solution?

Although gaining experience to put on your resume isn’t a bad reason to volunteer, it’s not the only reason. Start thinking beyond yourself and consider how you will be helping others.

Darren Stevenson, a Badminton coach, once said about the NAIG, “Hopefully this will carry on for generations to come. It’s the greatest experience. . . It’s a way for the youth to start setting goals for themselves “.

 The NAIG gives the indigenous youth something to strive for, which teaches them how to pursue and accomplish success in all areas of life.  And the pride they feel after competing will build up their self-esteem and confidence, which will get them ready to tackle their future.

Learn About Others 

You will increase your knowledge of indigenous culture and history, giving you a better perspective of this people group and an appreciation for what they have to offer the world.  You might be surprised by what you don’t yet know.

Work Together

You will stand with others to work towards a greater cause.  Teamwork is not only necessary, but it’s also a privilege.  You get to work alongside like-minded individuals who are passionate about making the world a better place. 

These great people you meet will likely become your friends for the duration of the event, or even longer if you choose to keep in touch.  Sharing such an incredible experience with your fellow volunteers will create a special bond that can’t be broken.

If this all seems beyond you, that’s because it is.  You couldn’t do this on your own, but teaming up with an organization and other volunteers gives you the ability to achieve something you never could on your own.

Amongst all the latest happenings in the world of sport, the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) is a very important event, and volunteering is a truly unique and special experience.  Are you motivated yet? If so, stay tuned to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where the 2020 NAIG Games will be hosted.

Before you go, make sure to check out these other important news stories in sport. 

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