Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Mustang senior boys’ volleyball

The Manitoulin Mustangs senior boys’ volleyball team has their sights set high this season. Their goal is to represent Northern Ontario at the Ontario finals in Belleville this November. The team had over 20 hours of practice time in and a silver medal finish in a Sudbury invitational tournament when they started league play last week. They opened the season with four wins in straight sets holding the competition to an average of under 13 points per set. Coach Mike Wesno thinks that the team has the talent to get to OFSAA with continued hard work in practice. The team has also greatly benefited from the expert instruction of Derek Debassige at practices. Team members include: Nathan Temple, Boston Thibault, Austin Purvis, Ben Marshall, Carter Abotossaway, Lucas Abotossaway, Mike Madahbee, Shannon Debassige and Carter Moggy.

Triple A hockey

Carson Shawana, Liam Bridgeman and their Sudbury Wolves Minor Midget AAA teammates have had a taste of their hockey future, and it’s been an interesting few weeks. When continuing age-segregated play, the North Bay Minor Midget AAA Trappers for instance, the battles are tough and evenly balanced, as evidenced in the 2 – 1, OT loss two weeks ago. When up against the other Midget teams in the GNML, the results have been harsher. These teams feature players one or two years older who are often bigger, faster and physically more mature. The local boys had a baptism of fire against the Major Midgets in New Liskeard for game two of the season, where they were over- matched and reacted poorly, degenerating from battling to scrapping, and the resultant power play onslaught saw the Cubs notch four of the first five goals on the power-play, en-route to a 15 – 1 spanking.

The Wolves have learned from that tough lesson though, and while a loss is a loss, falling 6 – 2 to the first place Soo and 6 – 1 to the third place Kapuskasing Flyers have been much more competitive outings. Chins up and work hard boys.

Special Olympics Manitoulin

Two Islanders were honoured with prestigious awards from Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) at its recent annual general meeting and awards night, with Manitowaning’s Matthew Bedard being named Male Athlete of the Year and tireless coach Janet Anning receiving the President’s Award.

Candidates for athlete of the year in Special Olympics Ontario are judged on their level of participation, their improvement in both physical ability and personal growth, their level of sportsmanship and their ability to be a role model and positive force for the Special Olympics organization. One male and one female athlete are named every year.

Mr. Bedard competes in both summer and winter events and told The Expositor that he will be on the Island’s snowshoe team at the 2020 winter games in Thunder Bay this coming February. Matthew has taken part in the 2017 Special Olympics World Games in Austria, earned a black belt in karate in 2010 and holds certification in the culinary arts. When Mr. Bedard is not helping to make maple syrup, mill wood or aid in carpentry, he expresses his love for food in his work at Little Current’s Anchor Inn Restaurant, runs a sausage cart at the Cup and Saucer trail and caters events to help fundraise for Special Olympics events.

Manitoulin Special Olympics community co-ordinator and coach Janet Anning was also on the list of recognitions at the event. She has taken part in Special Olympics activities since 2006.

“Janet has seen her chapter grow from one sport to seven. She has coached athletics, five-pin bowling, Nordic skiing, golf, curling, floor hockey and snowshoeing,” read the program booklet from the awards ceremony.

“It was awesome. It was just an honour to be awarded in the first place, and especially being there with Matt at the same time,” said Ms. Anning. During her time as the leader of the Manitoulin Special Olympics organization, Ms. Anning has sent four of her athletes to compete in world games. The President’s Award is given to a volunteer who has meaningfully fostered and grown the Special Olympics Ontario program and who aligns with the spirit, goals and philosophy of the organization. Despite the high honour, Ms. Anning said her commitment and approach to Special Olympics will not change.

“I’m going to keep striving forward to improve what we’re doing. Hopefully something like this shows young volunteers that maybe they should step up and start coming forward as well,” she said. “I’m going to keep working with athletes to improve their health and fitness abilities and their opportunities.”

Ms. Anning described Manitoulin Special Olympics as a wonderful group for anyone with special needs and one that provides an opportunity to make great connections with others in a rewarding atmosphere.

All of the winners from the Special Olympics Ontario ceremony will be forwarded to the national awards level at Special Olympics Canada for a chance at earning Canada-wide glory.

Providence Bay youth curling opportunity!

Congratulations to the Providence Bay and area youth curlers’ program for recruiting elementary aged students from Grades 4-8 this past weekend at the Providence Bay Curling Club. 

New curlers are always welcome! Curlers will need warm clothes, clean shoes and a helmet (mandatory for 12 years old and under) but the club provides the rest! The cost is just $20 each Saturday. Curling begins at 10:30 am.

For more information, please contact Angela Johnston (almjohnston@gmail.com or 705-377-7960) 

Get out and have a great season!

A good sport is good for sports

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