Auld Lang Syne sentiments and 2020 wishes!
It is always important to acknowledge our athletes of the past year and offer up some positive vibes as the new year progresses. Unfortunately with annual retrospectives, there will be deserving athletes who will be filtered out thanks to my suspect memory. I implore you, I know I will miss important achievements, but I only have so much space at this time. Please send me an email to fill this part in for future columns.
One great story of the past year was that of West End’s Mackenzie Turner who was honoured to be the flag bearer for the Canada Winter Games last February. The young biathlete represented Team Ontario at Red Deer, Alberta despite being sidelined with a serious injury for eleven months. In 2020, Mackenzie is heading to Switzerland at the end of the month to compete for Team Canada. Read all about it on Page 1 of this newspaper.
Gregory Trudeau-Paquet, who has been a prospect nearly before he could skate, has risen in the hockey world and now is part of his division-leading Powassan Voodoos. To add to that, he currently sits at second in NOJHL scoring with 60 points in only 34 games!
The Current to Killarney canoe race was a new, successful addition to the provincially sanctioned OMCKRA race circuit. On a course that could be dicey for some boats, organizers had prepared so many safety boats that nobody was in danger on such a windy day.
Now moving into the 2020 edition, organizers have released that this year’s Current to Killarney Canoefest will include more boats, more boat categories, more teams and way more fun. Save the date, Saturday, July 4. This is a really wonderful event for any level of boating skill. More updates including when you can register will be coming soon!
More with the year to come, I would like everyone to be encouraged to get out and be just that little bit more active in 2020 for their own health. Here is to our communally improved fitness.
Special Olympics athletes prepped for success
Five Special Olympics snowshoe athletes from Manitoulin were selected to be part of Team Ontario going to the Special Olympics National Winter Games in Thunder Bay on February 25-29. With nearly 2,700 people to be in attendance it will be an amazing event. Dayne Tipper, Bruce Vanhorn, Norman Daoust, Mark Dokum and Matt Bedard. Their events are the same as those they competed in at the Provincials last year.
One of the great coaches of the team is Judy Olacke and reports that the five have been training hard both at MSS and using the Maple Ridge Trails at Community Living (the old Hope Farm). If you want more specifics she invites you to visit the website at specialolympics.com.
Newly minted tournament
M’Chigeeng’s annual Boxing Day Family Tournament has now been renamed the Levi Debassige Memorial tournament to honour the much loved, recently deceased elder. This year, the two days of post turkey hockey ended with Troy Abotossaway’s team, sporting the AOK Chiefs colours, winning 1-0 in an overtime thriller.
Congratulations to the champions, featuring: Craig Abotossaway, Troy Abotossaway, Jess Aguonie, Duke Barnaby, Liam Bridgeman, Lukas Abotossaway, Savanah Corbiere, Steven Green, Boston Abotossaway, Jack Bridgeman, Zack Rolston and Brian Corbiere.
Smashing guy helps team towards provincials!
Greg Doane and his Canadore College men’s volleyball team is 7- 2 in the first half, tied for second in the east with Georgian College. It is looking good for the Ontario cross-over game because they earned the right to be matched up with a weaker team. If they win that game, they are on their way to the to the Provincials. Good luck, Greg!
5th Annual Wiikwemkoong Hockey Tournament
Gerard Baibomcowai is still looking for men’s and women’s teams for his upcoming tournament. Gerry is all over Facebook but you can also search out 5th Annual Wikwemikong Hockey Tournament on the ol’ FB.
A good sport is good for sports