Dozens of lanyards have been collected at each of the Saskatchewan Winter Games by Bob King, formerly of Weyburn.

Known as 'Kinger' by students at Weyburn Comprehensive School, where he worked for decades as a teacher, a Coach, and then as Activities Director, King was always  involved.

In fact, King has been helping out with the Southeast teams since 1978, before he and his wife Brenda relocated to Saskatoon to be closer to family. This is his first time being on Mission Staff for Saskatoon.

King said the job involves being the control area for the whole team. 

"We're at the university here, which has been the best facility I've ever been in for the games because they've always done them in small communities," he noted. "They've never let Saskatoon or Regina do it so that they could develop their facilities and things like that, so everything is really first class here.

"Every zone has a desk set up for people who come and ask questions, and medical problems and losing their identification cards and things of that nature. So that's what mission staff does. Each district, except Regina and Saskatoon, have sports councils and full-time paid employees to run other programs in the district."

He said while he had spent 10 years as a half-time regional recreation consultant for Zone 1, Regina and Saskatoon don't have that role due to already having such a well-organized recreational infrastructure.

"So they just hire someone to be the Chief Commission and get the mission staff and all that and the teams all signed up and organized."

This being the 50th anniversary of the Sask Winter Games, King said he's been to 18 or 19 of them over the years.

"I coached a senior ladies' team out of Weyburn in 1976, when we were allowed adults in the games, but now it's all youth-oriented because it's a multi-sport event."

The extreme cold, King noted, has meant the postponement of sports like Nordic Skiing.

"Other than that, it's been very good and we're using an awful lot of the facilities at the University of Regina, but also over at the exhibition grounds."

King estimated that around 1,000 people have been at the games throughout the course of the week, with sports divided up into different days.

"They've really got a cultural component, last night I was watching Métis dancing, Ukrainian dancing, and Indian dancing," he noted. "It's a very social event, that's for sure. They always have tried to add a cultural component, but I mean this would have been the best one."

"They've got panels and they had the female scouts from the Winnipeg Jets there speaking," he added. "But they try and make it a good experience for the kids, and then they get to use the pool at the university here, and they've got games for them and they got escape rooms and things of that nature. So yeah, it's a real event." 

The 50th Sask Winter Games began on Sunday, February 19th, and runs until tomorrow.