16 top young athletes prepare to compete
As the BC Winter Games nears, athletes and coaches from around the province are preparing themselves for the competition. Sun Peaks will be represented by 16 up and coming athletes and three local coaches in several different disciplines.
This year is the first time snowboarding has been included as an event in the Winter Games and athletes from the Kamloops First Nations Snowboard Team (FNST)and the Sun Peaks Snowboard Club will compete in boardercross and freestyle..
Jax Anderson, Bill Brewer, Connor Barret and Jackson Steed all qualified for the snowboard team, joining them will be coach Desiree Janzen from FSNT and Danny Webb from Sun Peaks Snowboard Club as assistant coaches of the Okanagan zone.
The Sun Peaks Alpine Club will have a large representation at the games with six of their U14 athletes, two first years and four second years competing. Along with the six athletes will be their home coach Sam Fournier acting as assistant coach for the zone team.
As one of the only female U14 coaches, Fournier was asked to step in as assistant coach for the zone team. She said her athletes were pretty pumped to hear she would be at the Games with them.
“It’s definitely a good feeling for the kids to have their home coach at a big event like that, somebody that they’re close to and feel comfortable with,” said Fournier. “I think that’s a huge factor for them.”
She said it wasn’t a surprise that so many of her athletes qualified for the games.
“The kids have been working really hard this season and putting in a lot of good time and effort to the course. So it wasn’t really a surprise that so many of them did so well,” said Fournier.
Along with getting as much time as possible training on OSV , Fournier is focusing on physically and mentally preparing the athletes for the challenges ahead.
“I’m also talking a bit about their mental preparation. That’s a huge thing so we talk a lot about after we set the course and we look at it, we do a lot of visualization. Just a lot of positivity making sure the kids are amped and excited,” said Fournier.
Competing in alpine slalom and giant slalom from the Sun Peaks Racers is Euan Currie, Fraser Jacoby, Joshua Jerstad, Talyn Lorimer, Micah Schwirlich and Cameron Smith.
In freestyle skiing, Luc Dallaire, Mastin Hooper, Riley McClymount and Charlie Roberts will all compete for the Okanagan zone.
Sun Peaks will have representation in the biathlon competition by Sebastian Solomonson and in the gymnastics competition by Brooke Topolovec.
The annual BC Winter Games will take place Feb. 22 to 25 in Kamloops with Sun Peaks Resort hosting the alpine competitions.