The Town of Taber and the M.D. of Taber will be showcased starting today with the official opening of the 49th annual Southern Alberta Summer Games.
Thousands of athletes and coaches will be descending on the area from southern Alberta to compete in one of the longest continuously-running amateur athletic endeavours in all of Canada.
Taber, the M.D. of Taber, Vauxhall, Enchant and Hays areas have always been well represented at the Games when you see overall participation levels and medal counts.
The Taber region has recognized the importance of the Games, both by its participation level and also being a frequent host, having hosted the Games in 1977, 1989, 2005, 2008, 2013 and now, starting today, 2018.
The Taber region has even filled the gap at times, answering the call when other hosts dropped out at the last minute.
Not only have local athletes recognized the importance of the Southern Alberta Summer Games, so too have non-competitors and the local business community as well.
The Games do not happen without volunteers and the M.D. of Taber broke the 300-mark easily to help power the Games.
There are also costs associated with the Southern Alberta Summer Games.
While the host receives a stipend from the Southern Alberta Recreation Association, the Games would not reach their true potential without the generous support from sponsors for families to compete in the event.
The Southern Alberta Summer Games is all that is right about athletic pursuits.
From those barely able to walk to those enjoying their golden years, the Games encourages participation on all levels in every pursuit.
Along with the lack of ageism, while winning a bronze, silver or gold in your Games pursuit is admirable, the Games are just as much about pushing yourself, regardless of athletic ability.
For those who have participated in multiple Games over the years, it can simply be a matter of bettering yourself with your last finish, shaving off seconds from a best time.
Common last names dot the Southern Alberta Summer Games, as the competition is a great way for families to spend time together while also getting fresh air and exercise for a North American region that is trying to combat the rising tide of childhood obesity.
Along with the athletic pursuits, there are the cultural ones with many side activities going on for the four days the Games are featured in the Taber/M.D. of Taber region.
With the buzz of activity the region will be showcasing, that means increased economic activity as well.
Not only have thousands of athletes and coaches signed up for the 2018 Southern Alberta Summer Games, there will also be the friends of families of competitors coming with them to cheer them on.
In that process, food will be eaten, vehicles will be gassed up, motels will be filled and shops will be entered.
The Times tips its hat to all those locally who make the 2018 Southern Alberta Summer Games possible for families to enjoy.