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Lac La Biche hosts 2024 Alberta Francophone Games

The 30th annual Alberta Francophone Games, which took place over the May 24 weekend, featured around 575 athletes from all over the province who competed in a variety of sports including volleyball, badminton, Kin-ball, soccer, pickleball, and Ultimate Frisbee.

J.A. Williams (JAWS) High School in Lac La Biche played host to the 30th annual Alberta Francophone Games over the May 24 weekend.

The 2024 games featured roughly 575 young French-speaking athletes from across the province who represented nine zones, including just over 100 athletes from the Lakeland region, who comprised Zone 5.

Throughout the weekend, the participants competed in a variety of sports, including soccer, badminton, volleyball, pickleball, basketball, and Kin-ball, a unique team sport with origins in Quebec which involves three teams playing at the same time hitting a large ball that is 1.2m (48 inches in diameter) and weighs one kilogram. During games, the team in possession of the ball is the Attacking Team. In addition to sports, there were also art competitions in music, improv and visual arts.

The celebration of Francophone sport and culture kicked off on Friday evening with the traditional opening ceremonies. As a small crowd watched from the bleachers overlooking the Bold Centre Swamp Cats Arena, the athletes-many of whom had been bussed into Lac La Biche-marched inside led by teammates who waved flags and banners. Their coloured uniforms signified the respective zones in which they belonged to.

The zones for this year’s Alberta Francophone Games are as follows:

Zone 1 - Airdrie, Brooks, Canmore, Cochrane, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, and Okotoks.

Zone 2 – Beaumont, Camrose, Leduc, Red Deer, Sylvan Lake, Wainwright, Ardrossan, Olds, and Innisfail.

Zone 3 - Calgary

Zone 4 – Edson Fort Saskatchewan, Hinton Jasper, Legal, Morinville, Spruce Grove, St. Albert, and Stony Plain.

Zone 5 – Athabasca, Bonnyville, Cold Lake, Plamondon, Lac La Biche, Lloydminster, St. Paul, and Vegreville.

Zone 6 – Edmonton, Sherwood Park.

Zone 7 – Fort McMurray.

Zone 8 – Donnelly, Fairview, Falher, Girouxville, High Prairie, Rivière-la-Paix and Valleyview.

Zone 9 – Grande Prairie, Whitecourt.

The competitions got underway Saturday morning. While the volleyball, basketball, Kin-ball, soccer, pickleball and ultimate frisbee events took place inside the Bold Centre and in the adjacent outdoor tennis/basketball courts, natural grass field, and artificial turf soccer field, badminton was held at Aurora Middle School, while JAWS was the site of the art competitions in visual arts, music and improv.

The playoffs were held on Sunday morning and were wrapped up before noon. Following a BBQ, the athletes, coaches, officials, and supporters gathered outside of JAWS for a medal ceremony in which competitors received gold, silver, and bronze medals in their respective sports.

The Alberta Francophone Games are put on by the Francophone Sports Federation of Alberta (FSFA). Since 1993, this annual event has brought together Francophone students in Grades 7-12 from across the Wildrose Province for a weekend of sports competition.  The games are held in a different community each year.


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