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November 22, 2017

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Home away from home

Athletes’ Village welcomes first residents

Volunteers with the Canada Summer Games unload pallets of pillows at the Mary Speechly residence at the University of Manitoba. The Fort Garry campus will host the Athletes’ Village and about 2,000 competitors during the competition.

DANIELLE DA SILVA - SOU'WESTER

Volunteers with the Canada Summer Games unload pallets of pillows at the Mary Speechly residence at the University of Manitoba. The Fort Garry campus will host the Athletes’ Village and about 2,000 competitors during the competition.

About 2,000 athletes, coaches, and mission staff will call the University of Manitoba home for two weeks during the Canada Summer Games.

The Fort Garry campus welcomed the games’ first athletes on July 27 after a month’s worth of preparation to get the three residences in order for the competitors.

Norman Ettawacappo, athletes’ village and athletes services manager with the 2017 Canada Summer Games host society, said staff and volunteers got to work on the Arthur V. Mauro, Mary Speechly, and Pembina Hall residences earlier this month, turning the student dorms into a facility capable of hosting athletes from across the nation.

“We’ve moved in about 800 bunk beds on top of what is existing here to give us our occupancy that we need to fit everybody,” Ettawacappo said.

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About 2,000 athletes, coaches, and mission staff will call the University of Manitoba home for two weeks during the Canada Summer Games.

The Fort Garry campus welcomed the games’ first athletes on July 27 after a month’s worth of preparation to get the three residences in order for the competitors.

Jeff Hnatiuk, president and CEO of the 2017 Canada Summer Games, and Norman Ettawacappo, village and athletes services manager, pose for a photo in a dorm of the Athletes’ Village, located in the Pembina Hall at the University of Manitoba’s Fort Garry campus. Three student residences will host 2,000 athletes, coaches, and mission staff during the competition.

DANIELLE DA SILVA - SOU'WESTER

Jeff Hnatiuk, president and CEO of the 2017 Canada Summer Games, and Norman Ettawacappo, village and athletes services manager, pose for a photo in a dorm of the Athletes’ Village, located in the Pembina Hall at the University of Manitoba’s Fort Garry campus. Three student residences will host 2,000 athletes, coaches, and mission staff during the competition.

The student residences at the University of Manitoba have been outfitted to accommodate 2,000 athletes during the Canada Summer Games.

DANIELLE DA SILVA - SOU'WESTER

The student residences at the University of Manitoba have been outfitted to accommodate 2,000 athletes during the Canada Summer Games.

Norman Ettawacappo, athletes’ village and athletes services manager with the 2017 Canada Summer Games host society, said staff and volunteers got to work on the Arthur V. Mauro, Mary Speechly, and Pembina Hall residences earlier this month, turning the student dorms into a facility capable of hosting athletes from across the nation.

"We’ve moved in about 800 bunk beds on top of what is existing here to give us our occupancy that we need to fit everybody," Ettawacappo said.  

Staff and volunteers with the Canada Games have been working non-stop to get the village into shape, Ettawacappo said, with hundreds of single beds being moved out of the student dorms and into storage, the creation of athletes’ lounges and dining areas in University Centre, and the installation of dozens of temporary air conditioning units in Mary Speechly Hall — one of the oldest residences on campus.

"It was a project in and of itself," Ettawacappo said of the air conditioning installation, pointing out the power packs and cables running down the building’s exterior. "In an older building with no air conditioning, we promised air conditioning for the games for the participants, and we installed that and completed it last week."

The units will be removed following the games, Ettawacappo noted. Bunk beds and mattresses that were purchased for the games will also be offered for sale to the public or other host societies at the competition’s conclusion.

With athletes as young as 11 years old staying in the village, Ettawacappo said security and access protocols will be tight and parents, spectators and media will not be allowed in the village once athletes arrive. Athletes’ movements throughout the village will also be restricted to permitted areas only.

"If a kid is assigned to this location, they can only enter this location, and of course that’s a security and privacy concern," Ettawacappo said.

Though teams have been discouraged from decorating dorms or halls with their team logos or colours and the bedrooms offer just the basic necessities, 2017 Canada Games president and chief executive officer Jeff Hnatiuk said the competitors will be well taken care of at the U of M.

"We think that it’s going to be a great village for the athletes, not only the accommodations that are here at the University of Manitoba but also some of the other amenities that are going to be available to the athletes here at the university," Hnatiuk said, adding that athletes will have access to the Active Living Centre.

"We feel as a host society, especially one that’s really focused on the athlete experience that the athletes village that we have set up here will be a very positive experience," he said.

Read more by Danielle Da Silva.

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