On August 4th and 5th, 2021 Lethbridge Sport Council partnered with several organizations to deliver The Creator’s Game, a three-part event.
Come Play Lacrosse - The Creator’s Game
The Creator’s Game, a free event for Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth, was a huge success thanks to the cooperation of eight partner organizations and 50 participants ranging in age from 6 to 18.
Partners included Lethbridge Sport Council, Alberta Sport Development Centre South West, Alberta Lacrosse Association, Lethbridge Lacrosse Association, Pincher Creek Ravens and Coach Chad Chief Moon, Pro Lacrosse Player Jeff Shattler, Mary Ellen Little Mustache from Piikani Traditional Games, and Calgary KidSport - Calgary Flames Sports Bank.
Sponsored by: The Government of Alberta, Pathway to Participation for Indigenous Families Grant, Lethbridge Sport Council, and Alberta Sport Development Centre South West.
The lacrosse skills camp led by Saskatchewan Rush pro player Jeff Shattler and assisted by local coach Chad Chief Moon, included new and experienced lacrosse players. Lacrosse gear was donated by the Calgary Flames Sport Bank for first time players to use for the clinics and take home at no cost.
The day began with a drum ceremony, blessing, and smudge from local Indigneous elder Bertha Chief Moon. Participants enjoyed a visit with Mary Ellen Little Mustache from Piikani Traditional Games. They learned about and played traditional games that develop fundamental movement skills and physical literacy to help survive on the land since time immemorial. Mary Ellen provided the following games with instruction and time to play:
Ring on the Stick
Rock in the Fist
Blackfeet Hoop and Arrow
Mary Ellen gifted items, many of which were handpicked or hand crafted, to the over 100 youth and their parents/caregivers:
Sage and Sweet Pine Bags
Trail Mix with dried Saskatoons and Pine Nuts
Traditional game Rock in Hand made for each child who attended
Game instructional cards
Dry deer meat prepared the traditional way
Piikani t shirt for Jeff Shattler
Thank you bags for each of the Elders who were guests
Fitness testing and mental performance training
Facilitated by Josh Hoetmer, Alberta Sport Development Centre South West (ASDCSW), participants learned about mental performance, training fatigue, and how to seek help when in need. Available help for mental health and performance, as well as symptoms and realistic outcomes were discussed.
Physical fitness testing was done on all participants of the camp by professional trainers, facilitated by ASDCSW. Participants' families were emailed the fitness testing results and encouraged to participate in the ASDCSW Athlete Enhancement Program (AEP) to improve on those metrics from the camp. The AEP is offered at the University of Lethbridge Sport Performance Centre by ASDCSW. There is a cost associated with those services.
Participants learned about the Indigenous history of lacrosse during interactive res &/nutrition breaks between sessions with Mary Ellen.
Note: The Calgary KidSport - Calgary Flames Sports Bank (CFSB) came through big time for the youth that took part, providing enough equipment to cover the needs of all our first time trying lacrosse participants. Every child was able to participate; even if they had never played or held a lacrosse stick before.
We had some awesome prizes too! We had a game jersey donated by the Saskatchewan Rush and Jeff Shattler that was raffled off as a door prize.
CFSB delivered to Lethbridge:
12 Sets of Kidney Pads
21 Sets of Elbow pads
15 Sets of Gloves
15 Shoulder Pads
Aboriginal Coaching Modules
Lethbridge Sport Council hosted Aboriginal Coaching Modules (ACM) coinciding with the skills camp from 5:00 - 8:00 PM both evenings.
The ACM was for all sports coaches and people who work with Indigenous youth. We were very grateful to be able to offer this course FREE of charge to participants in partnership with the Indigenous Sport Council of Alberta.
The Aboriginal Coaching Modules are as follows:
1. Holistic Approach to Coaching
2. Dealing with Racism in Sport
3. Individual and Community Health and Wellness
The ACM was developed by Indigenous people as a supplement to the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) to:
Provide culturally relevant courses for Aboriginal coaches and athletes;
Increase the accessibility of the NCCP to Aboriginal coaches;
Increase the capacity of non-Aboriginal coaches leading Aboriginal peoples;
Improve the quality of the sport experience for Aboriginal athletes;
Improve the understanding of the application of Aboriginal cultures in sport and coaching;
Participants were required to attend both sessions to receive certification and NCCP PD points.
The Cultural Significance of The Creator’s Game
Lethbridge Sport Council and Alberta Sport Development Centre South West hosted The Cultural Significance of The Creator's Game, a game for healing, traditionally thought of as medicine by players both physically and mentally. Jeff Shattler facilitated theWednesday evening session from 8:00 - 9:00 PM. Jeff is a board of director for the Indigenous Lacrosse Association, an Anishinabe World Junior Team member, and the Standing Buffalo Lacrosse Coordinator. This event was open to the public and everyone registered for the skills camp and ACM was pre-registered for this event. Forty six athletes, 22 coaches, and 8 community members signed up for the event.
Following the event, fitness testing data collected during the ASDCSW session was forwarded to each participant along with a link to the online sport publication Sport Matters with includes local sport programming information including lacrosse. Information was also shared about how to register for the Alberta Sport Development Centre South West - Athlete Enhancement Program.
Testimonials from the post event survey:
“I wanted to thank Lethbridge Sport Council and the rest of the organizers for the wonderful job they did during the Lacrosse Day Camp, it was a success! My children had fun and participated in the practices even though this was the first exposure to lacrosse. We appreciated this event highly and hope to see more in the future.” - M.B.
“This was an awesome learning experience and my 2nd time getting to work with Mr. Shattler! I’m glad others got to learn more about my culture, every child matters! I really had a lot of fun & can’t wait for the next one. I love lacrosse!!” - BradyLovesLacrosse
“Hi I’m writing on behalf of my son Tayton. To hear my son say mom I really like having a guy that played lacrosse to teach us how to play a good game.” - Tayton’s Mom
“I had a blast learning how to play lacrosse and would really love to play more. The coaches were excellent and taught me a bit about the sport while keeping it fun.” - John Manson
“Really well done. Days were full with floor time then classroom time, but the concepts presented by the experts in both settings are really valuable.” - Jon D.
“My son loved learning a new sport, and couldn’t stop talking about his Lacrosse experience. Great event put on for the community!” - Mom of Lacrosse camp participant