Local B.C. Winter Games athletes were given a proper send-off at Reppin’ the Ridge Tuesday evening.
Joined by their parents, coaches, Summer Games volunteers and some local politicians at Maple Ridge City Hall, the athletes mingled with one another while enjoying some refreshments before they headed off for Fort St. John for the weekend (Feb 20-24).
For Ashley Dezura, a curler with the Golden Ears Winter Club, this will be her first time competing in the BC Winter Games.
“I’m looking forward to meeting new athletes from all over the province who play different sports,” she said. While the fifth year curler is concerned about the cold, she said her team mates all have matching parkas, so they should be fine.
Fellow curler, Peter Sheridan will join two team mates who have played in the games before, so he likes the odds of coming home with some hardware.
“For our skip and our third, this is their second BC winter games,” he said
“Thomas Reed and Miles Reed competed in the 2018 ones, so if we focus and we do well, we stand a really good chance. We’ve beaten some of the top teams there.”
Breeana Myden said the games seem like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. She will play for the Zone 3 ringette team and said her team is excited for the chance to compete.
“I think we have a good opportunity,” she said.
“There’s a lot of good teams who think they might win, so we’ve got nothing to lose.”
Many of the directors in charge of hosting the Maple Ridge 2020 BC Summer Games will be accompanying the athletes.
“I think all of our committee has an idea of what their portfolio requires but until you see it in action, you’re really not sure,” said board president Mike Keenan.
“All of us will be going up and watching and observing our counterparts at the winter games just to see everything in action and make sure we come back and build on what we see as being very strong and if we see anything that we feel needs adjusting, we make sure we get that done prior to July.”
Keenan joked about the weather he plans on facing in the northern city.
“Mother nature knows we’re coming because it was -21 C there yesterday and tomorrow it’s going to go up to 2 C, so they got a heatwave coming, and we’re pretty happy about that.”
To top the evening off, the athletes, coaches and directors listened to speeches from local politicians.
Pitt Meadows mayor Bill Dingwall encouraged the attendees to soak up the experience.
“Enjoy the moment, smile on your achievements, dream of what comes next and continue to inspire those around you as well as being great ambassadors for our commnities.”
Maple Ridge counterpart Mike Morden spoke about how important the athletes are to the community.
“You turn fields, arenas, and ice sheets into community gathering spaces,” he said.
“You bring them to life.”