A larger team helped Yukon pocket a big award at the Canadian Francophone Games in Gatineau, Que.
With a record 35 Whitehorse youth and 10 mission staff, Team Yukon picked up enough points to win the Improvement Award at the triennial Games, held July 23-27.
“We didn’t get any medals, but accumulatively we amassed more points (compared to) the last Games than all the other delegations,” said Yukon Chef de Mission Genevieve Gagnon. “I think that’s a large, large part due to the fact we had 11 participants in 2011 and had 35 this year. So we more than tripled our participation.”
The Yukon contingent included seven athletes in track and field, six in badminton and seven in ultimate Frisbee, which was a demonstration sport at the Games.
The team also had three members take part in a leadership program at the Games, with in two in event planning and another, Lexi Braden, acting as a youth Chef de Mission.
“We worked together at the Games, she followed me around and we picked the flag-bearer together,” said Gagnon. “She got a behind-the-scenes look at the co-ordination of the event.”
Like with other major Games, there was an art and culture component. In addition to visual artists, Yukon sent a quartet, Les Parhelies (The Sundogs), to study under a mentor and later perform.
“They had three original songs that they wrote, and they got together just a couple months ago,” said Gagnon. “They had one rehearsal together before the Games, so the progression was really great to see over the week. It was really good music – I’d buy the CD.”
The Yukon also had three improv artists team up with two from Quebec and one from N.W.T.
Four times Yukon’s Marguerite Tolgyesi won the Etoile du Match (Star of the Game) award during improvisation competition.
Yukon’s Mason Bramadat, who was in the leadership program, was selected by his peers for an Excellence Medal in the event organization category.
As for Yukon’s athletes, Tyra Jones came the closest to hardware with a fourth place finish in the 200-metre dash.
The Yukon team, organized by the Association frano-yukonnaise, was made up of students from Ecole Emilie-Tremblay, and the French language programs from F.H. Collins and Vanier secondary schools.
“It was a very intense and exciting experience; it was a very busy week,” said Gagnon. “During the day they do the competitions, training and activities. Every night there was something planned, like a socio-cultural activity. So we went to a break dancing show and all kinds of things.”
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