This year’s summer Canada Games in Winnipeg will feature competition in16 different sports -- and the presence of a whole lot of North Shore athletes.
At least 30 athletes, coaches and managers will be representing the North Shore during the games from July 28 to Aug. 13.
More than 350 athletes from across the province will be representing Team BC in total.
Primed for a good showing is the B.C. women’s soccer team, which features five players from North Vancouver on the 18-person roster.
“It’s been a really talented year from North Vancouver,” says Emma Humphries, a North Vancouver resident and the women’s soccer coach for Team BC.
The team has fully assembled as a unit and have been practising intensely leading up to their departure for Winnipeg.
“We’ve been doing some practices across the last six weeks,” Humphries says. “It’s really come together this last three weeks intensely though. We spent the last three weeks working five days a week. ... It’s been building for a while now.”
The women’s soccer team plays its first match against Newfoundland on Saturday.
“Ultimately our goal will be to go out and try to compete to win. Bigger picture is I want these kids to try to learn from the experience,” Humphries says.
The Canada Games are a national multi-sport competition with participation from every province and territory in Canada.
The games take place every two years, alternating between summer and winter games.
North Vancouver is sending athletes to compete in a multitude of different sports, including baseball, athletics, basketball, cycling, diving, sailing, soccer, swimming, volleyball and wrestling.
From West Vancouver, athletes in basketball, diving, sailing and tennis will be making the trek to Winnipeg.
Tanis Metcalfe is one of two Carson Graham Secondary athletes on this year’s B.C. women’s basketball team heading to the Canada Games.
“It’s been really good,” Metcalfe says about the team. “At the beginning we were really hesitant because we didn’t know each other’s strengths and weaknesses but now it’s got a lot more comfortable and we can play easily together.”
Metcalfe has played with the team in provincial and national tournaments, but never in a Canada Games.
She says meeting other Team BC athletes as well as athletes from other provinces is something she’s looking forward to most.
But when it comes to the women’s basketball team, she’s all competition.
“Team goal would definitely be winning our pool. The first few games are really important. After that, we’ll have to concentrate on one game at a time to get ourselves to where we want to be,” she says.
That pool will be a veritable East Coast vs. West Coast matchup, with the basketball teams from P.E.I, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and B.C. vying for top spots.
The B.C. women’s basketball team’s first game is against Newfoundland on Saturday.
“I don’t think they’re going to be as big, but they’ll definitely be really scrappy and fast,” Metcalfe says.