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Staying Ahead of the Game

North Peace Athletics Society | Grimshaw, AB

By Jenelle Van Slyke | Photography by Dani Wearden

Operating since April 2022, the North Peace Athletics Society (NPAS) was formed to provide more active living opportunities for people around the region.

NPAS has organized fun events such as Breakthrough Basketball Camp and try-a-sport as well as drop-in nights for volleyball, basketball and badminton. They have also offered courses for coaches, athletes and parents such as mental performance, sports nutrition, training and concussions 101.

Tannis Coen and Moira Ford

“The facilities are in place to host events, and we have so many young aspiring athletes and volunteer coaches in the area,” said Tannis Coen, local coach for various sports teams and a member of the NPAS. “Ultimately, we’re organizing ways to bring everyone together.”

According to Coen, NPAS strives to utilize community members who have expertise.

“We really want to help our volunteer coaches and parents with as many resources as possible,” said Coen. “And, sometimes funds are a problem for families and programming isn’t always there. We don’t want there to be any barriers.”

Although the society is based in Grimshaw, they want to be as inclusive as possible.

“We try to cover the entire Peace Region,” said Coen. “So far, our events have been centralized in Grimshaw, but we are open to everyone attending our events.”

The NPAS team is made up of Tannis Coen, Tania Eastman, Miora Ford, Cheryl McKen and Jenni Sorensen.

“We all have different ideas and strengths, so we make a great team. We have experience ranging from coaching, team management, event planning, finance and, of course, volunteering,” said Coen. “Each of us have sports-oriented teenagers, so it’s convenient to be able to throw ideas out to them and get their feedback.”

When forming NPAS, its founding members agreed on the same principle.

“We felt a society of this type is needed in our community and surrounding areas because it would give youth more options to get involved in sport—especially if we could create opportunities that weren’t previously there,” said Coen. “It is also a great way to have programs offered to all age groups throughout the year and promote active lifestyles.”

According to Coen, the community has responded positively to NPAS’s programs.

“We’ve had nothing but positive responses from the community. Some of our events were lacking in numbers, but we attributed it to timing,” said Coen.

“NPAS has received a lot of feedback that an organization like this was needed in the area.”

The NPAS has some exciting opportunities coming up for those interested in trying a new sport or hobby.

“We’re looking into hosting another summer camp, but with a different sport such as volleyball, and we’re currently organizing a ski trip for early 2023,” said Coen. “We want to encourage kids to try different sports such as curling, ball hockey, baseball, hockey and golf—especially if they are not too sure if they would like to play on a team.”

Coen encourages people to watch for upcoming drop-in dates or their “Learn the Basics” events.

“We’d also like to hear your ideas for sessions, events or activities you’d like to see in the future,” said Coen.

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