Skip to content

Young athletes and RCMP come together for 42nd annual Challenge Cup in St. Paul

Cold Lake High School and Glen Avon School won this year's RCMP Challenge Cup.

ST. PAUL – It was a rainy day on May 7, but the weather was not enough to stop or discourage athletes of all ages from participating at the 42nd Annual RCMP Challenge Cup Relay. 

This year, St. Paul RCMP co-hosted the event with St. Paul and Area Victims Services. 

Teams composed of 12 students from junior and senior high schools across the Lakeland came to St. Paul for the race. There were 19 teams in total - including the RCMP’s team - with over 200 athletes participating. 

The race started two miles west of St. Bride, then made its way down Highway 29 straight toward St. Paul, with the finish line set up at the Recreation Centre. 

Each athlete ran a mile in the relay race. 

Steven Duquette, coordinator of the race, thanked all groups that helped make the race safe for everybody, including those helping with traffic control. Various emergency services were on hand. 

He also thanked and gave kudos to all participants.  

“I know some schools are extremely dedicated to this race and I’ve been told numerous times how much it means to them,” said Duquette. “It means the world to us to hear that, for sure.” 

The event is important to local RCMP members since it offers an opportunity for officers to build stronger relationships with youth in the community in a positive environment, explained Duquette. 

“We have a lot of fun running it every year, and it blows me away the participation we get from Lakeland schools,” said Duquette, with schools coming from as far as Beaver Lake, Cold Lake, and Lac La Biche.  

“It’s so rewarding after putting so much time into this to see that many people come and have fun.” 

Duquette also took the opportunity to remind youth that they can approach an RCMP member whenever they need to.  

“I hope they know that members do care about them, and they are there.” 

Runners from Glen Avon School agreed this year's event was another success. Glen Avon School won first place in the junior high category. 

Sebastian Marin-Hunter, a runner with Glen Avon, still brimming with excitement following the race, told Lakeland This Week he was happy to help his school win their first RCMP Cup in 27 years. 

“I’m super happy about that... that’s almost three decades long,” he said. 

Hannah Burton echoed her teammate’s sentiments. “Last year, we lost by three seconds,” recalled Burton. “And we thought that was our best year.” 

Burton said the race was intense, and the Glen Avon team thought history was going to repeat itself, with Racette Jr. High School keeping pace.  

“But then we... ended up winning the trophy.” 

St. Paul Regional High School entered two teams in the relay. While they narrowly lost to Cold Lake High School in the senior high category, Sasha Levasseur, coach for St. Paul Regional, said she was proud of the teams. 

“It came right down to the finish, like literally down to the finish. So, I’m super, super proud of our kids,” said Levasseur. 

This is Cold Lake High School’s third year in a row of winning the RCMP Cup. 

Duquette said RCMP look forward to hosting the race again next year.  

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks