Trail’s Gina Oostlander works out with the Zone 1 Kootenay basketball team last week to prep for the B.C. Summer Games which start today in Surrey.

Trail’s Gina Oostlander works out with the Zone 1 Kootenay basketball team last week to prep for the B.C. Summer Games which start today in Surrey.

Athletes in the blocks

Local athletes participating in the 2012 BC Summer Games are gearing up for the competition.

With the start of 2012 BC Summer Games, excitement is at a fever pitch as over 3000 participants get set to compete in Surrey today.

Greater Trail athletes have been preparing for the Games for months and it now comes down to four days of competition.

Trail’s Gina Oostlander and the rest of the West Kootenay Girls basketball team spent last week practicing in Castlegar and attended a camp at Gonzaga University in Spokane to fine-tune for the Games.

Although the competition was tough, the girls played hard and really improved, said coach Kim Matson.

Other local competitors include: Darren Bella of Trail and Salmo’s Henrik Yerwood for baseball, Fruitvale’s Trevor Browell and Ryan Fullerton of Trail for golf, Trail’s Derek Davis and Tyler MacAuley, lacrosse, Rossland’s Tayla Koeber, triathlon, and Allie Stanley and Mackenzie Flood for athletics.

The area’s biggest representation comes in girls softball as Roxann Sorenson, Jordan Zilkie, and Felicia Kryski from Trail, team up with Jenica Bouliane of Fruitvale and Salmo’s Haley Gould and Jessica Paul.

The athletes dive into competition today and will compete over four days in 20 different sports at venues throughout the City of Surrey.

For some, the BC Games are a pinnacle achievement but, for many others, it is the first step towards provincial and national teams and eventually other major multi-sport Games like the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

With the London Olympic Games beginning just one week after the BC Summer Games, the athletes competing in Surrey can look for inspiration from the 25 BC Games alumni who will be part of the Canadian Olympic Team at the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games.

Athletes including Dylan Armstrong (Athletics), Ryder Hesjedal (Cycling), Brent Hayden (Swimming), Karina LeBlanc (Soccer) and Carol Huynh (Wrestling) all began their journey to the Olympic Games with a trip to the BC Games.

Close to 3000 volunteers in Surrey and surrounding areas have worked to plan and stage the BC Summer Games, including many who were part of the team for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.