N.W.T.'s Sport North starts preparing for 2023 AWG's

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An image of the 2018 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremonies in Hay River, N.W.T. The event's international committee announced on Tuesday that the postponed games will be held from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Kirsten Murphy/CBC - image credit)
An image of the 2018 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremonies in Hay River, N.W.T. The event's international committee announced on Tuesday that the postponed games will be held from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Kirsten Murphy/CBC - image credit)

The Northwest Territories' territorial sport federation, Sport North, is already getting ready for the 2023 Arctic Winter Games, set to take place in Wood Buffalo, Alta.

The event's international committee announced on Tuesday that the postponed games will be held from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4 of that year.

Bill Othmer, executive director of Sport North and chef de mission for Team NT, said he's glad the games were not simply cancelled.

"It's a good news item that we're going to have something in 2023," said Othmer. "There's a real call out that we need to get sport back on the field of play and get that going, but again with COVID, we want to make sure that everything is safe."

Othmer said the first step is consulting with territorial sport organizations and others involved in the games on matters like age categories and qualifying rules.

Then, those recommendations will be sent to the Arctic Winter Games International Committee, along with recommendations from other provinces, territories and countries before an official project plan for the event is published.

Othmer said the N.W.T. is considering holding qualifiers in February or March of 2022 to give teams more time to train and raise money.

"We want to make sure that our athletes are safe for the first part, and that everyone has an equal opportunity to try out for these games," he said.