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New face of recreation

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Mar 16/05) - Jackson Lindell always had a keen interest in recreational activities while growing up in Arviat.

He was well known in the community for coming up with new ideas for fun things for kids to do.

As he grew older, Lindell began to realize that recreation was a career path he might chose to explore one day.

Now 25, and having lived in Rankin Inlet for almost five years, he is celebrating his one-month anniversary as the community's recreation co-ordinator.

"One thing that always appealed to me about recreation is that it's the type of job that allows you to give something back to the community you live in," says Lindell.

"It's also kind of neat to have a job that involves trying to make living in the community as much fun as possible."

The timing of Lindell's hiring has put his learning curve on a baptism-by-fire arc.

Having already survived an under-13 soccer tournament and a nine-team Avataq hockey event, Lindell is now busy making preparations for the annual hamlet days celebrations (Pakallak Tyme).

"My plan during my first year is, basically, just to get my feet wet and learn from what's been done in the past.

"From this year's event, I'll get an idea of what I can do next year and what needs to be done in advance.

"Once I learn all that, I can start putting in my own ideas and go from there."

Lindell says recreation is important to Kivalliq life, especially when it comes to helping the long winters pass more easily.

He says people live healthier, more productive lives when they're physically active.

"There's also the long-term effects of being active, which include being involved in the community, making new friends, and developing a sense of responsibility, fair play and teamwork.

"These are skills that can be used in everyday life, and come from a variety of areas, not just specific sports.

"It could be camping, hunting, sewing, whatever - being involved with recreational programs in the community helps you build character."