Local news, Saturday in locks

Local news, Saturday in locks

The old mayor is still a committed man, at least as one of the adult volunteer workers behind Lördag i sluesen in Origi. The popular free event had one of its best years this summer since its debut in 2011, totaling 1,600 visitors on nine Saturdays at the Lock Coliseum.

Together with Arne Dehli and Steinar Fundingsrud, and with Municipal Head of Culture Else Marit Svendsen as a good supporter, Nils Skogstad has put in countless hours to create wonderful experiences in the summer of Oregon.

For 17 years, Skogstad has also been president of Over Kölen AS, the company behind the Kjølen Sportcenter on the border.

But the 89-year-old feels like he’s stepping down now. Younger forces must be on the field, as he emphasizes with a cup of coffee on the kitchen table at home in Skogstad.

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Give up the stick

In June, he resigned as President of Over Kölen, delighted that Hans Einar Sætra had taken over this baton.

A great deal of work has been put into the facility since its inception in 2005, in close collaboration with, among others, Nils Torre Berglund of Töcksfors. Berglund has served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors all these years, and he remains in that position.

– We don’t have staff. It’s pure hard work. Nils Skogstad emphasizes that other costs start now.

He is glad that they have built a wonderful facility that is widely used by young people. He is proud to have made it to the snowboarding facility.

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– I set it as a goal for myself, he says.

Skogstad itself is proof that you can stay fit and active by skiing even at a mature age.

– I go ice skating a lot. It is not completely harmful. I have a good nose, he admits with a smile.

In the long run, it has become a mobile race, so it will continue. On ice, he has raced the Birkebeiner more than a dozen times, and has run three times in both Vasaloppet and Marcialonga.

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Ask the guys to stand up

Now it is still summer in Ørje and more interested in a popular event in Skogstad locks. He and the others on the event committee were buttoning up a little bit about what to do on Saturday in the locks. Two years after breaking Corona, they returned this summer with a series of concerts that gathered an average of 175 spectators at a time. In other words, it was nice to have people in the stands at the Lock Runway. And artists come back year after year.

– We said now that we can participate for another year as organizers if we get help from young people for practical implementation, says Skogstad.

– What do you need help with?

There are practical things to sort out, a lot of physical work and a lot to keep track of. Most artists bring their own speaker systems, but it’s enough to do this every Saturday to put things in place, hang them, take down the flags, and clean up after performances. We would like to help some young people with purely practical tasks, and we hope that one of them will come forward. After all, we bring in artists and we get sponsors, it’s a lot of work. And everything happens on a voluntary basis. It became too much for the four of us.

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After ten years of showing every Saturday for most of the summer, Skogstad realizes that it might be OK and sensible to downsize. But:

– We don’t run away. If we get help, says Nils Skogstad, we’ll be working next year as well.

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Ashura Okorie

Ashura Okorie

"Infuriatingly humble web fan. Writer. Alcohol geek. Passionate explorer. Evil problem solver. Incurable zombie expert."

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