Every other year, student athletes from across British Columbia have an amazing opportunity to both represent their region as well as experience a sporting event that is truly unique to B.C.
This year, the BC Winter Games will take place in Greater Vernon, from February 23 to 26. A number of local athletes will be attending for sports ranging from badminton to curling, representing our region in what badminton coach and zone representative Colin Sherk said is a truly “unique opportunity.”
“I liken the BC Winter Games to the Olympics,” Sherk said. “I took some kids to the games in Cranbrook in 2008 and I was totally unprepared … the energy and enthusiasm at those games was incredible.”
Grade 7 J.A. Laird student Jessica Markus is one of those lucky athletes who will be attending this year, competing in the field of badminton. While Markus hasn’t been playing for very long, she says that she really enjoys the sport and is looking forward to having a fun time.
“It feels really good (to be attending), but I’m really nervous,” Markus said. “I’m just going to try my best and have fun doing it.”
Teammate and fellow Grade 7 student Emily Danyluk is also excited for the opportunity, saying she also enjoys badminton and enjoys being able to play with friends.
“It’s very exciting (to attend the games) and I want to have a fun time,” Danyluk said. “I think that it’s a really great opportunity and I’m really excited to go.”
Sherk, while no doubt hoping his athletes do as well as possible, says that he isn’t really results based, and just hopes that the athletes come away having had a good time.
“I want them to enjoy the sport, have a good time, meet new people and experience new things,” Sherk said.
Among the other local athletes attending, many may be familiar with the curling rink of Ian Redeker, Sam Gaspar, Logan Powell, Garrett Kashuba and Justin Pollard, who qualified last month by beating a Grand Forks rink. Others include hockey players Brianna Clarke of Windermere, Ashley Dubois, Marhyn MacSteven and Savanna Neale of Invermere, judo athlete MacKenzie Dubois of Canal Flats, and finally freestyle skier Nat McGrath, also of Invermere. For more information on the Games, visit bcgames.org.