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One of the bigger fish caught by Jens Brinch in Greenland. En af de større fisk Jens Brinch har fanget i Grønland.

foto / Photo: privat / private

Portrait of a sports enthusiast Facts about Arctic Winter Games Arctic Winter Games (AWG) is a circumpolar sport competition for Northern and Arctic countries, celebrating sporting and cultural exchange. The games have been held since 1970. The Arctic Winter Games International Committee consists of 12 members who advise and provide guidelines for the games. They also evaluate the offers from countries that would like to host the games. Therefore, the individual members are selected by the countries they represent. AWG will be held in Nuuk in 2016 (AWG 2016). A hosting community has been established for the purpose, consisting of the government of Greenland, the municipality of Sermersooq, companies, members of the AWGIC and a secretariat. Work is focused on arranging AWG 2016 under the daily leadership of General Manager Maliina Abelsen, About 1,500 volunteers will assist with AWG 2016 and around 1,850 competitors are expected to take part, plus the press and VIP guests. There are 14 different sports events in AWG 2016. Alpine ski, Arctic sports, badminton, basketball, ski biathlon, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, Dene games, indoor football, snowboard, table tennis, volleyball, wrestling and ice hockey. 78

greenland today

24 2015

Jens Brinch was general secretary for the Sports Confederation of Greenland for many years. Now, as president of the Arctic Winter Games International Committee he is responsible for the biggest sports event in Greenland in ever. Text: John Jakobsen

The biggest sporting event ever in Greenland will be held in Nuuk from 6th to 11th March 2016. This is the Arctic Winter Games (AWG), which Greenland hosted for the first time in 2002. At that time, the games were hosted jointly with Iqaluit in Nunavut. This time, Nuuk has agreed to host the entire event and had originally planned to build an ice stadium for several of the most popular sports in Arctic Winter Games; ice hockey, speed skating, curling and figure skating. Unfortunately, efforts to build an ice stadium have been unsuccessful, so the ice hockey tournament has been moved to Iqaluit in Canada, just as it was in 2002. Therefore, the ice hockey players will be flown to Nuuk to take part in the opening of the games and then flown to Iqaluit. This will be repeated at the conclusion of the games one week later. Jens Brinch is the president of the international committee for the Arctic Winter Games. He was the General Secretary for the Sports Confederation of Greenland for many years and he lives in Denmark now. Sport has always been paramount - It started at the Sports Boarding School in Sønderborg, where I had a job as a teacher, says Jens Brinch. After that, I was with DGI (Danish Gymnastics and Sports Association) for seven years as the international director working with, among other things, the development of sports in Eastern Europe and Africa.

- It was very interesting work which also involved living in Brussels, where I worked for the EU for a year. The desire to try new, exciting work led me to apply for a post in Greenland. It was important that my wife Laila wanted to come, too. She works with art and living in Greenland was very inspiring to her. - Working with the Sports Confederation of Greenland was interesting, especially the part that was about positioning Greenland in international sport. Taking part in Island Games and Arctic Winter Games was paramount. I was elected to AWG’s international committee in 1998 which gave me an opportunity to influence planning and executing the games. - I have played sports all my life, from elite to recreational level. I played division handball and volleyball and I still play on the veteran football team. I have been a coach for many years, primarily for volleyball, but also for division handball. - I left Greenland in 2007, although I continued to work for the confederation until 2009. During the last two years I worked mainly with international tasks. At the same time, the intention was that I should leave AWG’s International Committee. But I was asked to stay on the committee as a representative for »Guest Units«, which were primarily Sapmi and Yamal. - The intention was that I would do this for a while and then stop at the same time as Gerry Thick, who was our president at the time. Instead, I was asked to become president for the orga-

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greenland today no 24  

Stories from Greenland and the Arctic. For all who are interested in culture, business, travel experiences, music, food, development and cli...

greenland today no 24  

Stories from Greenland and the Arctic. For all who are interested in culture, business, travel experiences, music, food, development and cli...