From archer Bailey Drinkwalter to speedskater Tori Kalyniuk, dozens of Saanich athletes are in Kamloops this week for the 2018 B.C. Winter Games, Feb. 22 to 25.
Saanich athletes are part of the Zone 6 team, which consists of the Vancouver Island-Central Coast regions. In total, more than 2,100 athletes, coaches and officials are in Kamloops for the Games.
Among those competing is Norah Haydar, a 13-year-old Saanich figure skater who trains with Oak Bay Figure Skating Club, and who earned the privilege to compete through recent qualifiers. Saanich is also represented by figure skater Desiree Grubell, who will compete in the Special Olympics.
“This will be the highlight of her life,” said Haydar’s mom, Shelley.
The biggest contingent of Saanich competitors is 10 judo athletes, Nyota Morisho, Max Grant, Eli Grant, Tiffany Coolican, Josh Kuyvenhoven, Dakota Webb, Mira Calder, Zachary Robson, Brendan Wong, Gabriel McIntyre and coach Jeremy Grant. Saanich has three more karate athletes in Ella Crowle, Robin Goraya, Olivia Brodie and coach Brendan Flower.
Noelle Pasta is Saanich’s lone rhythmic gymnastics athlete and Gage Reilly Saanich’s lone gymnastics competitor.
Saanich is well represented in badminton with Mido Luo, Aland Chang, Ryan Chen, Justin Siu and Aaron Lin, who’ll go with volunteer Grame MacInnes.
Zone 6’s wheelchair basketball team will feature three Saanich members, coach Simon Cass, and athletes Desiree Young and Joshua Campbell.
Speedskating coach Hans Terstappen will lead Tori Kalyniuk at the Games. Divers Curtis Frohloff, Oliver Mebs, Ishika Bhajan will also attend with Susy Bhajan and Marie Pierre volunteering with the dive team.
Competition officially kicks off at 8 a.m. on Friday with badminton, wheelchair basketball and Special Olympics basketball. All competitions end by 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, followed by medal celebrations.