Volunteers from the Northwest Territories have begun work at the 2015 Pan American Games, ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony in Toronto.
According to Team Canada, no Canadian athletes of the 719 participating in the Games were born in the NWT.
However, Yellowknifer Keirra Alty is one of around three dozen residents of the territory selected as youth ambassadors for the Games.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to get kids out of their communities and show them this is what you could do if you really put your mind to it,” Alty, 22, told Moose FM.
“If you dedicate yourself, you could potentially be at this stage.”
Her duties involve accreditation checks for athletes and media, alongside helping spectators.
“There’s the Last Mile Crew,” she explained. “They strategically place you around the venue and you get to cheer on the spectators as they walk to the venue. ‘You only have one mile to go! Keep going this way!’ It’ll be an interesting one.
“I’m hoping the American basketball team comes by – I think it’d be interesting to just see them, not even really talk to them, and see what they’re about. And I’d obviously like to see the Canadian athletes and be in their presence in general.”
Training for the volunteers began earlier this year, with a two-person team sent to Yellowknife by Games organizers.
Among other tips for assisting spectators in Toronto, volunteers from the NWT have been encouraged to speak about their home territory while working at the Games.