Kehewin School played host to a big inter-provincial volleyball tournament this weekend, which saw local Indigenous athletes compete at the 2021 Battle of the Bands.
The boys and girls tournament with competitors from Treaty 6 and Treaty 8 began on Friday and ran until Sunday. In years past, teams from Treaty 7 would also come out.
Vice-principal at Kehewin School and coach Lorne Cuthand said there were 13 teams at the tournament. He explained the background of the Battle of the Bands competition.
“This tournament started 19 years ago to get kids in Indigenous communities to come together and play together,” said Cuthand.
“Because there’s high suicide rates and drinking and stuff like that. There was actually a death in the community in Alexander where one of the people who spearheaded this–he wanted to do something to bring all the youth together and send them a message that sports are a way out of negative things in our life. So this is the 19th edition of the Battle of the Bands.”
In the gold medal matches, the Saddle Lake/Goodfish Lake girls team took Wabasca to three sets, winning the first set 26-24 before falling in the second 25-12. However, Saddle Lake/Goodfish girls ended up on the losing end with a tight 17-15 loss in the deciding set.
Meanwhile, home court proved to be a help to the Kehewin boys team, who earned the gold medal after a 25-20, 25-23 win over Makwa Sahgaiehcan.