February 25, 2024

“Sports activities has given me greater than something I may give to sports activities, and the ‘thanks’ is with the ability to watch the athletes these final 36 years with the ACAC,” stated sports activities booster Curtis Phillips.

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When requested why he loves sports activities, Fort McMurray sports activities historian Curtis Phillips factors to a 2019 basketball sport with the Keyano Huskies’ girls’s basketball workforce.

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The workforce had earned a spot to compete on the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Affiliation’s nationwide competitors. The Huskies’ coach, Dwayne Vigilance, ran throughout the court docket to hug his father, Compton. The ladies’s workforce had additionally as soon as been coached by Compton.

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“That was simply superb to see how sports activities can influence folks a lot. That’s the reward for me,” stated Phillips in an interview.

Phillips reminisced about that hug in an interview after he was welcomed into the ACAC Corridor of Fame. He’s glad the honour is becoming a member of one in every of numerous different honours he’s collected via years of selling sports activities in Fort McMurray. However his recollections are much more worthwhile than any award, he stated.

“It’s at all times unusual to be acknowledged for one thing that’s a part of who you might be,” stated Phillips. “Sports activities has given me greater than something I may give to sports activities, and the ‘thanks’ is with the ability to watch the athletes these final 36 years with the ACAC.”

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The passion that Phillips, who can also be president of the Wooden Buffalo Sports activities Corridor of Fame, has for sports activities in Fort McMurray goes past the ACAC.

His profession in sports activities started in 1982 when he joined the Fort McMurray Right this moment as a sports activities reporter. His father informed him to “deal with the athletes like they’re within the NBA or NHL or NFL.”

It was a mantra he continued as a contract author, working for the Fort McMurray CONNECT till it closed in 2016 and YMM Journal. It’s additionally a philosophy he’s stored whereas offering protection and commentary to the ACAC and at numerous video games, championships and tournaments over the many years.

“I at all times have revered the athletes and I write the the identical kind of story I’d at an NBA sport or a school or highschool sport,” stated Phillips. “It’s simply the enjoyment of sports activities. You see everybody up there making an attempt their finest and that’s what’s pleasurable about it.”

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Curtis Phillips presents John and Albina Pratt with the plaque to induct their son Nolan into the Wooden Buffalo Sports activities Corridor of Fame in Fort McMurray Alta. on Thursday June 18, 2015. Robert Murray/Fort McMurray Right this moment/Postmedia Community

‘The world of sports activities is altering’

Phillips is spending his free time writing a sports activities historical past of Fort McMurray. The e-book is a tribute to individuals who have constructed up sports activities within the area. They embody athletes who’ve competed professionally and at totally different ranges, and individuals who additionally promoted sports activities within the area.

Phillips says the e-book can also be wanted as a result of the transient nature of Fort McMurray means recollections are brief. There have been loads of leagues and groups in a number of sports activities which have popped up, dissolved and been reborn a number of years later.

For instance, Phillips says Fort McMurray had a robust cricket and Gaelic soccer scene within the Seventies and Eighties. On the identical time, there have been a couple of dozen martial arts golf equipment in Fort McMurray.

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Right this moment immigrants from nations in South Asia have created a brand new native cricket scene. Flag soccer has existed as at the least 5 totally different golf equipment over time, stated Phillips. He’s additionally open to contemplating esports as a sport. Keyano School has its personal esports workforce and not too long ago opened Alberta’s first esports area.

“After all they’re athletes. They’re using hand-and-eye coordination. They’ve to coach their our bodies,” stated Phillips. “There’s 3,000 sports activities on the planet and the world of sports activities is altering continually and drastically.”

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