Team Nunavut plans for Greenland

Mariele dePeuter, Arctic Winter Games chef de mission, begins task of getting everything in order

James McCarthy | Nunavut
December 19, 2015
Arctic sports athlete Deon Kuglugiak of Chesterfield Inlet and flag bearer Judy Mariq, a hockey player from Baker Lake, led the Nunavut contingent into the opening ceremony at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks, Alaska. Mariele dePeuter, chef de mission for Team Nunavut, has the task of figuring out who will do the honours for the 2016 team. - NNSL file photo

Arctic sports athlete Deon Kuglugiak of Chesterfield Inlet and flag bearer Judy Mariq, a hockey player from Baker Lake, led the Nunavut contingent into the opening ceremony at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks, Alaska. Mariele dePeuter, chef de mission for Team Nunavut, has the task of figuring out who will do the honours for the 2016 team. – NNSL file photo

All of the trials are done and the only thing left to do is get the athletes over to Greenland for the start of the 2016 Arctic Winter Games.

The job of making sure everything is in order once again falls into the hands of Mariele dePeuter, chef de mission for Team Nunavut and it will be the second time she’s taken on the role.

“It’s fast approaching,” she said.

Team Nunavut will consist 191 people, broken down into 154 athletes, six cultural participants, 21 team coaches and managers and 10 mission staff. It should be noted that not everyone will be competing in Greenland. The bantam boys and junior girls hockey teams will be flown into Nuuk for the opening ceremony and then promptly flown back to Iqaluit to play their games. After the ulus are presented, they will fly back into Nuuk for the closing ceremony and then back to Nunavut again.

Nothing too complicated, right? With all of the teams set, the no. 1 job for dePeuter was making sure everyone had their passport information submitted in time.

This is, after all, a foreign country they’re travelling to.

The deadline was Dec. 17 for everyone to have those details in to the sport and recreation division office in Baker Lake and dePeuter said there was no plan B if the deadline was missed.

“If they didn’t submit the information, they will most likely not be going,” she said.

Unlike the process in the NWT, where everyone who wanted to enter the various territorial trials needed to have a passport already in hand in order to take part, dePeuter said that wasn’t the case in Nunavut.

“Each sport had their own take on it,” she said. “For some, it was mandatory to have a passport in order to try out. Some sports held selection events in the spring so they’ve been working with their athletes to make sure they had a passport in time.”

The passport information is staying with dePeuter right now but she said all of that information will be passed on to the host committee in February.

Getting to Greenland will be easy enough as all the charter flights will be leaving from Iqaluit on March 4 – all six of them. You see, the landing strip at Nuuk Airport can only handle a Dash 8, meaning the Boeing 737 operated by First Air is useless.

“We can only put 30 people on a flight at a time,” said dePeuter.

The team will be returning from Greenland on March 11.

Sport-wise, Nunavut will have athletes competing in wrestling, badminton, table tennis, volleyball, hockey, futsal, basketball, Arctic sports and Dene games, which is down from past years but there’s a good reason for that, one which has been repeated ad nauseum.

“We have less athletes and teams because of the sports that were cut,” said dePeuter. “No midget boys hockey, no curlers, no gymnasts and no speedskaters.” DePeuter has been meeting with her mission staff monthly since October to go over anything which needs to be fleshed out and there is a coaches meeting planned in February to go over any last bits of travel information, which is then passed on the athletes by the coaches.

The registration deadline for those athletes who are going to Greenland is Jan. 25.