Saint John, NB – This year is an exciting year at the track as the East Coast Games collides with the Canada Games Selection Trials. New Brunswick’s best athletes, under the age of 23, will be in the city vying for spots to represent their province in the 2017 Canada Games, taking place in Winnipeg in July and August of this year.
The track & field team being one of the last teams selected for Canada Games. As it is an individual event, the track & field team is selected to give athlete’s an opportunity to demonstrate competitive readiness as close to the event as possible and ensure the best athletes are named.
The trials will include NB’s top young track athletes including.
- Victoria Lebanc –Provincial record holder in multiple hurdle races
- Laura Dickinson –Double gold national medalist in 2016 / Top ranked Junior in 5000m
- Jennifer Bell – Shot Put – Holds multiple shot put provincial records
- Adrian Kinney – AUS Champion in 2017 in the 60m
The three-day meet sets track to be one of the growth sports of the East Coast games this year, not only because of the trials but also the inclusion of a Friday evening fun meet for athletes as young as 7, open competitions as well as masters’ events. “Our event will provide opportunities for athletes of all levels,” says Bill MacMackin, event organizer and 2017 Canada Games Coach. “The Trials, only enhance our event by bringing NB’s best Games-eligible athletes to our city over this weekend. We are thrilled to have it included in the East Coast Games this year.”
The track & field events have been scheduled to fit around Rugby 7’s which are also being held at Canada Games Stadium over the weekend. In addition, the Ultimate Frisbee tournament will host an exhibition match on Friday eventing while track events are taking place. This will result in a busy venue at UNBSJ with lots of excitement for spectators and athletes alike.
2017 Honourary Chairs- Mary Ann Patterson & Mac Smith
The 2017 East Coast Games start on June 23rd and the organizing committee is pleased to announce that Mrs. Mary Ann Patterson and Mr. Malcolm (Mac) Smith have been selected as honorary chairs for the 2017 games. Both Mary Ann and Malcolm have been very active in the New Brunswick volleyball community, throughout the course of their careers.
Mac grew up in Sackville, NB and has played many sports throughout his life including baseball, volleyball and hockey. Mac played with the Fairweather Royals in Saint John. They won the Maritime Intermediate AA Fastball Championship in 1979. He coached the Saint John High Hockey Team before he was hired at that school, where he went on to teach biology, history, physical education and co-op education. He retired in 2001, after 28 years. He coached both the girls’ and boys’ varsity volleyball teams. One of his favourite coaching memories is from 1983, when both of his teams won the Provincial Championships. Mac has stayed involved in the sports community, since his retirement, as an off-ice official for both the Saint John Flames and the Saint John Sea Dogs. He says sports were never just about winning (although that was nice!) but rather about the sense of community sports created for him and his teams. He looks forward to being involved with the 2017 East Coast Games.
Mary Ann grew up in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She describes herself as always being athletic but she was never enrolled in organized sports as a child. “Girls couldn’t go over half when I was playing,” she recalls about playing basketball. Mary Ann certainly helped change that throughout her career, coaching many young women, taking several teams to national competitions. Mary Ann worked at many different elementary schools in the city, helping to develop a better physical education program and retired in 2006. Volleyball was, and remains, Mary Ann’s favourite sport and passion project. Mary Ann and her husband, Dave, took teams to Women’s Nationals on several occasions. They were inducted into the Saint John Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 for their contributions to the sport. Mary Ann’s favourite sports memory is of coaching the Women’s Volleyball team at the 1983 Canada Games in Saguenay-Lac St Jean, QC. She was manager for the team that year and coached with Dave by her side. She is looking forward to being an Honorary Chair for the 2017 East Coast Games.
The East Coast Games are back for their 3rd year in 2017 with 12 sports involved!
(June 23-25, 2017)
Saint John, NB – The East Coast Games, Atlantic Canada’s largest annual multi-sport games, are back in Saint John for a 3rd consecutive year. The 2017 Games will see nearly 1,800 athletes participating in more than 12 sports including rugby, basketball, softball, ultimate Frisbee, track & field and more.
“We’re excited with how the Games have grown and how in just 3 years, we’ve doubled in size. We’re on track to sustain, if not continue to grow participation in 2017 through the expansion of existing tournaments as well as the addition of new sports like baseball, karate, Cross-Fit and a triathlon,” says Event Co-Chair, Keith Raynes. “We are also thrilled to continue our partnership with our Presenting Sponsor, Emera New Brunswick. Their support has been invaluable to us in the development of these Games,” adds Raynes.
“We’re pleased to be returning as Presenting Sponsor of the 2017 East Coast Games,” says Emera New Brunswick General Manager, Frank Campbell. “By supporting events like the East Coast Games and investing in infrastructure like the Emera New Brunswick Field at Shamrock Park, we proudly contribute to active and healthy living in the communities that are home to the Brunswick Pipeline. These Games are not only exciting for the participating athletes from around our region, but also for spectators who gain access to top sporting events.”
This year in particular, is an exciting for the East Coast Games as certain tournaments align with Canada Games Selection Trials. Track & Field’s three-day meet is one sport set to grow as a result of the trials. “Our event provides opportunities for athletes of all levels,” says Jason Reindl, Meet Director and Canada Games Head Coach. “The Trials, however, enhance our meet by bringing NB’s best Games-eligible athletes to our city over this weekend. It’s an opportunity we only see every few years.”
Over the past two summers, approximately 2,500 athletes have descended on the fields and athletic centres around Saint John as a result of the East Coast Games and in 2017, the impact is growing. Sports tourism is big business for the city, says Victoria Clarke, Executive Director of Discover Saint John. “With an estimated economic impact of over $500,000, hotels, restaurants, retailers and attractions will reap the benefits of the Games. It’s through the commitment and hard work of local volunteers that we continue to grow sports tourism in the city and drive economic growth in the tourism sector.”
The committee has launched a new website to better promote the games further updates available there on a regular basis. The Games schedules will be released in the coming months but be sure to mark your calendars for June 23-25, 2017 to see some exciting sporting events and talented athletes.