By Zachary Cormier
It was a busy weekend for elite youth athletes in Lacombe and Blackfalds.
The Alberta Winter Games took place in Medicine Hat over the long weekend, featuring more than 2,500 young athletes from all over the province who competed in a variety of events including volleyball, speed skating, ringette and hockey.
Over 250 athletes from Zone 4 made the trip out to the Hat to compete in the games, including 15 athletes from Lacombe and nine from Blackfalds.
“I think our athletes are representing Central Alberta really well. They’re competitive and they’re great kids. Our coaches are doing a good job in terms of making sure they’re good representatives, not just on the court but off the court,” said Miles Kydd, who served as the Chef de Mission for Zone 4 during the games, which ran from last Saturday through Tuesday.
“In their interactions with volunteers I’ve heard nothing but positive comments.”
As the Chef de Mission of the zone, Kydd acts as a liaison between Zone 4’s athletes and the games. Outside of the Alberta Winter Games, Kydd also serves as the executive director of the Alberta Sport Development Centre – Central.
“The ASDC’s mission is to help Central Alberta’s emerging athletes and it is those same athletes that are here competing in Medicine Hat. It is our hope that we can partner with all the athletes, coaches, and sport programs to help all athletes achieve their sporting potential,” he said.
After four days of competition, Zone 4’s athletes finished in sixth place out of eight in the medal count, earning seven gold, 16 silver and 17 bronze medals and Kydd said that they were competitive throughout the weekend.
“They’ve been representing well. We’re not getting blown out. I think our ringette team had a couple of tough games and our boys’ hockey team had a couple of tough games but we’ve been very competitive. Both of our volleyball teams were real close to being in the gold medal games. We’re acquitting ourselves well.”
Bringing home medals for Lacombe are Charlotte Cutts, who earned a bronze in speed skating as well as Camryn Fodor, who won bronze with the Zone 4 female volleyball team. Luke Miller, Lubenson Pannenbecker, Chad Robbins, Reuben Wildeboer and Jacob Wolfson were also part of the Zone 4 boys’ volleyball team that brought home the bronze medal.