A trio of local athletes will be heading to Fort St. John for the BC Winter Games, to be held Feb. 19-23.
Molly Caldwell, 14, will be competing in biathlon, while Roxy Coatesworth, 13, and Madison Sherriff, 12, will be competing in the alpine ski event.
“I’m really excited to go,” said Coatesworth.
“I’m probably gonna be nervous when I’m there, but right now I’m just focusing on training hard and treating every run like it’s a race.”
The BC Games is an amateur sporting event held every two years for young athletes.
Getting to participate in the Games is a once in a lifetime experience, as most athletes become too old to return for multiple appearances.
“We’ve never been to something quite as big as this,” said Sherriff.
“I’m really excited. We’re very fortunate, a lot of people were at the qualifying race and could have gone.”
Both Coatesworth and Sheriff are Golden Kicking Horse Alpine Team (GKHAT) racers, and will be representing Golden and GKHAT at the Games.
While Caldwell will also be representing Golden, she doesn’t have a Golden-based team to represent, as she travels to other towns like Vernon to train for biathlon.
Going to the BC Games will allow her to continue to improve and push her biathlon career forward, with hopes of one day going to nationals.
As a long time cross-country skier, she was introduced to the sport of biathlon just two years ago with the cadets, where she has already claimed numerous provincial cadet titles.
“I’m excited and nervous to go the Games, I’ve never been before,” said Caldwell.
“My brother went a few years ago and he had a lot of fun, so I’m excited for the experience.”
The alpine skiers will be participating in two events, a slalom race and the team event.
The slalom race has racers do two runs down the hill, with the fastest combined times taking the prize.
Racers who fall on the first run are eliminated, making it a tough competition.
They will also be participating in the team event, as a part of a regional Kootenays team.
“I’m excited for the team event to meet people I’ve never skied with before,” said Sherriff.
“I think it’s really fun that you get to cheer on your teammates just after you raced,” added Coatesworth.
“Literally as soon as you finished you look up and their coming down and I think it’s so much fun.”
The purpose of the BC Winter Games is to provide an opportunity for the development of athletes, coaches and officials in preparation for higher levels of competition in a multi-sport event which promotes individual achievement and community development.
Achieving excellence is a focus of the competition, however, building lifelong skills, experiences and knowledge through sport is an essential part of the experience as well.