The 2016 BC Summer Games kicks off in Abbotsford in exactly two weeks with over 3,000 of BC’s best emerging high-performance talents registered and ready to take part in this year’s celebration of sport and community.
About 20 athletes and coaches from Greater Trail will participate in the event with the Trail Track and Field Club taking one of its largest contingents in recent history.
Warfield’s Dan Horan, head coach of the Trail Track and Field Club, and supervisor Carolyn Amantea will accompany six athletes from the West Kootenay, includng Tyler Catalano, Wyatt Smith, Sage Stefani, Jordan Amantea, Annika Ford, and Elizabeth Meyer, who will join 13 track athletes from the East Kootenay to compete in Athletics at Rotary Stadium in Exhibition Park.
“This time it’s pretty good,” said Horan who is attending his seventh Summer Games event. “I think the last time we only had three kids from the West Kootenay.”
Trail Track and Field practice three times per week at Haley Park and attend meets in the Okanagan and Kootenays to prepare for the Games. Two years ago at the Summer Games, the Kootenay Athletics team won two medals, and while Horan would like to see the team improve on that, his expectations are modest given the high-performance athletes competing from the Lower Mainland.
“It is a possibility. I’d like to see someone, if it’s a running event, make the final,” said Horan. “But the experience is the main thing. I tell these kids it’s not how well you do, you go for the experience.”
Athletes from every corner of the province have trained to earn a place to represent their zone at the Games. Competing in 18 different sports, athletes are an average of 14-15 years old and for most, this will be their first experience at a multi-sport Games.
Greater Trail athletes include: coach Clemente Miranda-Trevino and assistant Kelly Acheson lead the girls soccer team with Eva D’Odorico, Amie Fairweather, Isabelle Mitchell, and Abbegayle Teasdale participating. Tessy Brandt, Maclean Keraiff, and Connie Dewell will compete in girls softball, Ryan Buckley in sailing, and Kody Stewart in box lacrosse, while Logan Tanguay, and Nathaniel and Brian Riemer will play for the Kootenay boys soccer team. Champion Lakes Golf Pro Kevin Nesbitt will coach the boys golf team, and Sturart Hawton will race in Special Olympic swimming.
The BC athletes are supported by 473 coaches and 260 officials who have completed their certification in order to provide the best knowledge and expertise to the athletes and the competition.
Volunteers in Abbotsford have been preparing for the past 18 months to host the Games – the second time this community has done so. Over 3,000 volunteers will work to ensure the participants have exceptional competition and a first-rate experience with Opening and Closing Ceremonies, special events, and wonderful hospitality.
“The tremendous sport facilities in Abbotsford combined with experienced and enthusiastic volunteers will make for a memorable event in July,” said Kelly Mann, President and CEO of the BC Games Society. “These BC Summer Games will be the first step for many athletes towards future national and international level competitions and we look forward to following their journey.”
The BC Summer Games has inspired many athletes on to higher levels of sport. As the BC Games conclude, all eyes will be on the next Games this summer with Team Canada preparing for the Olympic and Paralympics in Rio. BC Games alumni will be front and centre with athletes like Nikola Girke (sailing), Emily Overholt (swimming), and Fred Winters (volleyball) set to represent our country.
The BC Games go from July 21 to 24; for more information visit bcgames.org.