The SOBC-Trail Roadrunners Kayleigh Postmus and Bob Lattanzio work on a little one-on-one at practice last week in preparation for the Special Olympic BC Winter Games this week in Kamloops.

Special Olympics: Trail athletes getting primed for B.C. Winter Games

Greater Trail will send a strong contingent of athletes to the Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops this weekend

Greater Trail will send a strong contingent of athletes to the Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops this weekend

The B.C. Winter Games will attract more than 600 athletes from eight zones across the province, competing in seven sports including floor hockey, figure skating, snowshoeing, alpine skiing, curling, cross-country skiing, and speed skating.

Sheila Hawton will lead the Kootenay Team as chef de mission, while a strong floor hockey squad, the SOBC-Trail Roadrunners, coached by Ben Postmus and Chris Kuchar will compete along with downhill skier Stuart Hawton coached by Darrel Fry, and the SOBC-Trail snowshoe team comprised of William Thatcher and Jake Miller and coached by Luke Thatcher and Jared Munn.

The athletes qualified for the Games last year in Kelowna, and although the snowshoe team is relatively new, Thatcher is happy with the progress.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how the athletes perform at the provincials,” said Thatcher. “I was overwhelmed at the districts last year, just how fast they were.”

The snowshoe team engages in a weekly dryland-training session, and practices on snowshoes at Gyro and Montrose Park during the week, as well as race against Montrose Fire Fighters’ finest. Coach Thatcher says he wants to see his team enjoy the experience of the Games, but is also impressed with their dedication this season.

“It’s just their second year starting, and they’ve already made it to provincials, so you can’t ask for anything more as a coach,” said Thatcher. “I think they will compete very well. These guys have got faster, their times have just downhilled, they’ve already lost over 10 seconds in their sprints. They were pretty quick last year, but they are even quicker this year, so that’s nice to see.”

Miller is most looking forward to the competition. A sprint specialist, the Trail native will compete in the 200 and 400-metre races.

“I’m looking forward to going to Kamloops,” said Miller. “I think I’ll do pretty good, I’ve been working hard and it should be a great experience.”

The floor hockey squad played in a tournament in Abbotsford in January and forward Bob Lattanzio says it was a good warm up for the Winter Games.

“It helped, we lost two and won one, but it was a lot of fun and we learned a lot.”

The veteran player has played on the floor-hockey team for four years, and is excited to compete in his first SOBC Winter Games.

“I am most looking forward to staying on campus,” he said. “I think we’ll do pretty good, and hopefully win a medal.”

The floor hockey team has been going at it hard since November, practicing every Tuesday at the Columbia-Kootenay Learning Centre gym, and playing teams as diverse as a group of media darlings from EZ Rock and the Trail Times, to no-nonsense RCMP and Fire Fighters, as well as stiff competition from hockey teams Trail Smoke Eaters, Selkirk College Saints, and Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

Adam Bateman, who turns 31 today, has been playing for three seasons and is all business when it comes to floor hockey and achieving success on the hardwood.

“I think we’ll do pretty good. I went to Abbotsford with the team, scored a few goals and had some fun but I’m the power forward, I have to stand in front of the net and get the garbage.”

The always dynamic Kayleigh Postmus is confident in her team’s abilities and while she is thrilled about the trip and seeing athletes from all over B.C., her eyes are firmly set on gold when it comes to the Games.

“I’m going to learn a lot of skills there about defence, and hopefully be very competitive, and let’s hope we win the gold,” says Postmus. “Our team has to go out there and work hard together as a team, defence, offence, and we have to support Gary our goaltender. I’m a little bit nervous, but it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Just Posted

Water Quality Advisory for the residents of West Trail

RCMP investigating break-in at Lower Lookout Reservoir

Trail man charged with break-in, theft and mischief

Robert Startup has been in court and released on conditions

What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email editor@trailtimes.ca

Greater Trail political scene gets a new look

Trail and Greater Area votes in new mayors, new councillors and passes a referendum

Earth Rangers visit Trail

Earth Rangers is a kids’ conservation organization committed to instilling environmental knowledge

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Rural regions get priority for B.C. referendum mail-out

Ballot security measures aim to protect against voter fraud

B.C.’s natural gas supply could see 50% dip through winter due to pipeline blast

It’s been two weeks since the Enbridge pipeline ruptured near Prince George on Oct. 9, sparking a large fireball

Mega Millions, Powerball prizes come down to math, long odds

Biggest myth: The advertised $1.6 billion Mega Millions prize and $620 million Powerball prize aren’t quite real

2 Canadians advance to finals at world wrestling championships

Olympic champion Erica Wiebe just missed joining them with a loss 3-1 to three-time world champion Adeline Gray of the United States in the 76-kg event

VIDEO: Fire destroys historic small-town B.C. restaurant

Two people were injured as fire ripped through the Hedley restaurant around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday

B.C. town’s mayoral race a tie, come down to luck of the draw

Harry Gough led incumbent Cindy Fortin by one vote on election night Saturday

Outdoor retailer MEC vows to boost diversity after online complaint

Mountain Equipment Co-op was criticized for perpetuating a white-only picture of the outdoors

Trump vilifies caravan, says he’ll cut Central American aid

Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the Guatemala-Mexico border, about 5,000 Central American migrants resumed their advance toward the U.S. border Sunday in southern Mexico.

Most Read