Summer Camps Are Here!

July is off to a hot start – 30+ degrees of hot! Summer camps are in full swing with Ortona Gymnastics, Go Sports volleyball/basketball and U of A Green and GOLD multi-sport camps all taking place this summer. These camps will see upwards of 500 youth participating throughout the summer where kids will hone their skills in specific sports like volleyball and basketball or will be introduced to new sports and activities.

One of the more unique camps taking place this summer at the Saville Community Sport Centre is the the Starlight Performance Camp. The Starlight Performance Camp is run by the University of Alberta medical students and is designed for kids living with chronic illness or disability. It will be hosted in the Ortona gymnastics hall this Saturday July 8, 2017.0d3455_9aa6f773256e41529a2ee8180919088c-mv2

According to camp co-leader Andrée Vincent, the kids will gain confidence and learn that their health condition does not need to define them.

“Some of the kids who are attending have let go or quit activities because of their conditions,” said Vincent, a second-year medical student at the U of A. “We really want them to find out that they can still perform in those disciplines, even though they have health concerns that impact them.”

The Starlight Performance Camp is supported through an Alberta Medical Association / Canadian Medical Association Emerging Leaders in Health Promotion grant along with additional funding from the U of A’s Medical Students’ Association. The camp is also supported by Ortona Gymnastics which is giving free use of its facility.

Learn more


The Great Canadian Shootout!

Happy Canada Day everyone! It’s a big year for our country because it’s not just Canada’s birthday – it’s Canada’s 150th birthday. Celebrations will be held across the country tomorrow night and our government has ensured this year will be a party like no other with an unprecedented budget of 500 million dollars put towards the festivities. We at the Saville Community Sports Centre are celebrating Canada Day the only way we know how – with a giant basketball tournament! Starting today and running through till Sunday, we are hosting the Edmonton Grads Great Canadian Shootout. The Great Canadian Shootout will be one of the biggest tournaments we host this year and basketball just so happens to be a sport that was invented in Canada.

A Quick history

“The roots of basketball are firmly embedded in Canada. In 1891 the game was invented by naismith_jamesDr. James Naismith, a Canadian who hailed from Almonte, Ontario.

Having been given the task of creating a new indoor sports activity while conducting a physical education class at the international YMCA training school in Springfield, Massachusetts, Naismith designed what we now call basketball. The original game involved 13 rules and a peach basket hung ten feet above the floor. Even though it took place in the United States, at least ten of the players who participated in the first-ever game were university students from Quebec.” –

Closer to Home

The organization hosting the Great Canadian Shootout this weekend (Edmonton Grads Basketball Centre) is still one of the most celebrated amateur teams in basketball history.

“One of the most storied amateur teams in Canadian basketball history is the Edmonton Commercial Graduates (Grad’s), a group of Canadian women who dominated the sport in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Over 25 years, the Grad’s played 522 games at home and abroad, against both women’s and men’s teams. The Grad’s accomplished a record-breaking winning streak of 147 games and throughout their basketball tenure won a remarkable 502 times.” –

The Great Canadian Shootout will see upwards of 2000 participants and spectators and has four division for all ages to participate:  U13- Born 2004 or later, Jr. High- Born 2002 or later, Sr. High- Born 2000 or later, Open- No restrictions.

Feel free to stop by the Saville Community Sports Centre this weekend and celebrate our beautiful country by watching a truly Canadian sport and some of the best amateur talent in Canada!

Shiny new floor!

It’s been a long process but the North Hall gyms have finally cured and are ready for use!DDBk7-KUIEUKGP7 We resurface the gym floors every two years with the North Hall getting done on odd years and the South Hall/Competition Gym getting done on even years. With the gyms reopening yesterday, we needed someone to break them in and who better than a bunch of kids playing basketball! Today, Basketball Alberta’s youth clinic had the honour of being the first major DCy9WOzVoAASRx3event on the new floor. Not only did these kids get a chance to hone their basketball skills, but they were coached by members from the Canadian Women’s National Team. We are the home court for the Canadian Women’s Team and it was great to see them showing these youngsters the ins and outs of the game. The National Team has been here all week in preparation for the upcoming season.

Summer is generally the slow season here at the GO Centre but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on. We have two major tournaments scheduled this weekend and next week to close out June.

Edmonton United Volleyball Tournament – June 24

The Great Canadian Shootout – June 30

Look for more on the Great Canadian Shootout in next week’s GO Sports Newswire.

Canadian National Women’s Sitting Volleyball Training Camp

When you think of June training camps, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the Eskimos and the start of the CFL Season, but they aren’t the only ones gearing up for this season. Come on down to the Saville Community Sports Centre this weekend where you’ll see one of the most fast paced and exciting variations of a traditional sport. What began Thursday and wraps up Sunday, is the Canadian Women’s National Sitting tor15_svb_w_canada_vs_cuba_14aug_sg41258Volleyball training camp. “Our women’s national team will be holding their June training camp at Saville this weekend.  This is the same team that went to the Paralympics back in September,” explains Ian Halliday, Director of High Performance for Sitting Volleyball. The Saville Community Sports Centre is the home of Canada’s National Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team and this weekend will be an amazing opportunity to get an intimate look at the sport and some of its best athletes!

We all know the sport of Volleyball but the sitting variation puts a unique and much faster twist on the sport. “In sitting volleyball, the athletes must remain seated directly on the ground (no wheelchairs, sleds or carts) and compete on a smaller court and a lower net. Athletes are allowed to block the serve in sitting volleyball and their buttocks must remain in contact with the ground whenever they play the ball. Other than that, the game is very similar to traditional volleyball in its tactics and strategies but is a much faster version of the game because of the lower net and smaller court,” says Ian.

The team’s next major competition will see them defending home soil at the 2017 Pan Am Championship in Montreal this October. “This is a World Championship qualification tournament for us and we hope to finish in the top 2 and earn a spot in the 2018 World Championships in the Netherlands,” says Ian.

Training camp is open to the public with upcoming sessions as follows:

Friday, June 16

10:00 – 12:00                Session #3                                                        Saville – Court 7A

16:00 – 18:00                Session #4                                                        Saville – Court 7A

Saturday, June 17

10:00 – 12:00                Session #5                                                        Saville – Court 7A

16:00 – 18:00                Session #6                                                        Saville – Court 7A

Sunday, June 18

10:00 – 12:00                Session #7                                                        Saville – Court 7A

Interested in trying the sport or learning more about it? Give Ian a shout at “We are always looking to find ways to grow the game and get more people playing!” Says Ian.

That New Floor Smell is in the Air!

Have you ever wondered what it takes to resurface gym floors? It’s not as quick of a IMG_0456processes as you might think and actually involves a few steps. First they need to sand the floors to remove some of the old coating and create a clean surface for the new coating to bond to. Then they need to wash the floors to ensure no dust is left to disrupt the bond. Finally, the coating is applied.

It all seems pretty straight forward but when you consider just how big the GO Centre is, (12 full size gymnasiums) you really appreciate the scope of this yearly project. Each year we resurface either the North or South side of the building. This year is an odd numbered year so the North Hall is receiving the treatment.


IMG_0463Short-Term Pain for Long-Term Gain

With the sanding and cleaning finally done, the real fun can begin! Starting today and continuing through the weekend, the new coating will be applied to all five gyms in the North Hall. If you play basketball at the GO Centre, chances are you’ll be playing on brand new floors next season! Unfortunately the new coating takes about a week to cure. The North Hall is expected to reopen by June 22. In the meantime, the South Hall and Completion Gym will remain open for drop in and general use.

Month in Review – May

Today marks the first day of June and signifies the coming of all things summer! Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s take a moment to look back on the month that was. May was a very busy couple of weeks here at the GO Centre. We had our biggest tournament of the year in Volleyball Nationals, two Corporate Challenge events took place and we played host to the Unified Basketball Tournament.

Volleyball NationalsC_Ov6U2UAAA-04t

Believe it or not, this year’s Volleyball Nationals was biggest in history! it saw a total of 929 (680 girls’ and 249 boys’) teams – up from last year – making the 2017 edition of Nationals the largest event of its kind to date.  All ten provinces and two territories fielded teams. If you’re interested in the results, they can be found on each Nationals page on the VC website or via ISET Sports (

Corporate Challengeyegcc1

Although Corporate Challenge won’t wrap up until next week, we hosted two very successful events in May, with both volleyball and table tennis taking place. Badminton serves up this Saturday June 3. Good luck to all the athletes and congratulations to all those who’ve already competed.

Unified Basketball Tournament1297884307535_ORIGINAL

Incredible sportsmanship and some amazing skills were on display at the GO Centre this week as the Unified Sports Basketball Tournament took over courts 4 and 5. This Unified Sports tournament in partnership with Special Olympics Canada is dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences. Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.

To keep tabs on everything happening at the GO Centre, make sure to follow us on Twitter @GO_Centre.

A new meaning to Corporate Takeover!

Who says you can’t have fun at work? Starting this weekend and running through to June 3, the 25th annual Corporate Challenge is taking over the GO Centre! Of the 23 different sport categories, three will take place at the GO Centre. Volleyball on May 28, Table Tennis on May 29 and finally Badminton on June 3. The three events combined are estimated to bring in 900 participants and spectators. I’m sure we all know someone at work who’s a closet semi-pro and it will no doubt be a thrill to see which company reigns supreme.

25 years of team building fundownload

“Created in 1992, Corporate Challenge provides an activity for local businesses to foster employee interaction, teamwork, morale, pride, health & wellness. The demand proved overwhelming and now Corporate Challenge has grown to include over 175 companies, over 18,000 athletes and 1,900 volunteers in an Olympics-style competition that is one of the largest amateur sporting events in Canada!

Corporate Challenge promotes a unique sense of spirit and togetherness that is found when employees gather in social environments and fun, organized competition. Corporate Challenge provides the corporate world with activities that break through the barriers existing in even the smallest organizations. Through sports for the athletically-corporate-challenge2inclined to recreation activities that employees of every fitness level can participate in, Corporate Challenge gives us all an opportunity to come together and have some fun!” – Corporate Challenge

Although it’s too late to register a team this year, there’s no reason why you can’t come down to check it out and see what it’s all about. Corporate Challenge is not only a great team building event, but promotes goal setting, getting active and introduces individuals to sport and wellness. Best of luck to all the athletes!

Check out the Corporate Challenge website for more information on the events, festivities and times.