“The purpose of the games is to come together so our children can get to know each other better, to foster friendship between the Northern Ute, Southern Ute and the Ute Mountain Ute tribes,” mission statement of the Tri-Ute Games.
Tri-Ute Games is back! After a one-year hiatus – due to the 2014 North American Indigenous Games – the annual gathering of all three sister tribes has returned in full effect.
The 2015 Tri-Ute Games has Team Southern Ute traveling to Northern Ute territory, Ft. Duchesne, UT, for the four-day event.
Team Southern Ute has a total of 85 athletes and 23 coaches/chaperones/staff making the trip up north. Youth ages 9-18 will be competing in multiple events including: basketball, volleyball, cross country, bowling, golf, archery and a Ute Warrior challenge.
“Its the largest group of kids we’ve taken to Ft. Duchesne,” Kevin Winkler, SunUte Recreation Manager said. “Most all the kids are participating in more than one sport.”
Due to the varying number of players from each tribe – approximately 140 from Northern Ute, 85 Southern Ute and 40 from Ute Mountain Ute – players will have the opportunity to play on mixed teams, Winkler said.
Team Southern Ute has been holding consistent practices for the last month now, Shalaunda Roan, SunUte Recreation Coordinator said.
Though it’s not a competitive event, the practices have helped organize and get the players acquainted with one another.
Coaching Team Southern Ute are volunteers and past Tri-Ute athletes.
Roan said she is proud of the number of young adults that will be making the trip, not to play, but are rather stepping up to now be coaches and mentors.
“It’s not competitive,” Roan said. “Everyone will get a participation medal … It’s about the love of the game and going up there to have fun.”
Team Southern Ute will be departing Sunday, June 14 at 10 a.m. Players are asked to show up to SunUte Community Center between 7 and 9 a.m. so bags can be loaded. Sun Dance Chief, Hanley Frost will be providing a blessing for Team Southern Ute at 9:30 a.m. before the buses depart.
Keep up with the Tri-Ute Games and Team Southern Ute by liking the tribe’s Facebook page. Live updates and results will be posted to the page.