Several Houston athletes have recently competed at the 2018 B.C. Summer Games, held in Vancouver Island.
North West Zone 7 – which runs all the way from Vanderhoof to the coast – managed to put together some outstanding teams and individual athletic performances, despite the zone’s large geographical area – which makes it more difficult and costly for athletes to get together for practices and games.
The Zone 7 athletes won a total of 13 medals – seven gold, one silver and five bronze. Three of these medals were conquered by Bulkley Valley athletes – including Logan Unruh (Smithers), who won gold in girls javelin and bronze in girls shot put, and Blaise Sakac (Smithers), who won bronze in girls 420 sailing.
The Bulkley Valley had quite a crew at this year’s event, with 26 young athletes heading to possibly one of the biggest events of their lives so far.
Houston resident Abigail Henderson, who competed with Zone 7’s girls softball team – which placed eighth in the competition, said she had a great experience at the Games.
“It was an amazing experience, not just the competition, but the friendships and the memories I made,” she told Houston Today.
In addition to Henderson, several other Houston athletes competed in Vancouver Island. Zone 7’s girls rugby team – which had a seventh place finish – included Shaely Nice, Maggie Kenzle, Savannah Sommerfeld, Courtney Farrel, Mackenzie Emberley and Recebeca Sketchley.
Other Houston participants included the rugby team’s head coach Robert Mark and adult supervisor Denae Grange.
“The girls played their hearts out and really showed what northern rugby is made of both on and off the field,” said Grange. “They only got two practices together before we left, and that can be tough going down and playing other teams who play together at least once a week.”
“But they rose to the occasion, and although it didn’t necessarily show on the scoreboard, it showed in their spirits the whole weekend,” Grange continued. “We didn’t go down with high expectations but came home very proud with how the girls played.”
“This is something I will remember for a lifetime.”
The home zone, Vancouver Island-Central Coast, took home the most medals. They stormed back on the final day to finish with 145 in total, including 58 gold, 43 silver and 44 bronze.
None of the provincial zones were shut out, with athletes in all eight geographical parts of the province winning multiple gold medals. Fraser River athletes took home 127, Vancouver-Coastal 114, Fraser Valley 84, Thompson-Okanagan 80, Cariboo-North East 34, and Kootenays 16.
The 2018 B.C. Summer Games saw more than 2300 of the best athletes in the province compete against each other in the Cowichan Valley, from July 19-22.
While many of the previous Games have been located in a single city, the 2018 Games were spread across multiple communities like Nanaimo, Chemainus, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan and Mill bay, with the majority of events taking place in Duncan.
At the closing ceremony the Games torch was extinguished and the commemorative flag folded up and handed over to Fort St. John — the location of the next B.C. Winter Games.
– With files from Tom Best &