Pictou County will be well represented at the Canada Games in Winnipeg with 16 athletes playing for Team Nova Scotia. While they won’t actually be leaving until later this week, on Monday night those athletes got a proper sendoff with a special event in their honour at the Pictou County Wellness Centre where family and friends celebrated their achievement of making it to this level of competition.
The sendoff was hosted by Pictou County’s three MLAs with the help of others in the community.
“It was important to me that we show the athletes that their community supports them, respects them and is proud of their accomplishments,” said Pictou East MLA Tim Houston. “We did that and it was obvious that it meant something to the athletes.”
Cindy MacKinnon, who works for Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores and has been active in Pictou County’s sports community for years, helped with some of the behind the scenes work for the event. She said it’s exciting to see so many young athletes from Pictou County who will have this opportunity. She said track in particular seems to have grown in the county with the creation of the Pioneer Track in Stellarton and it’s starting to play a large role in the county.
What’s nice this year is that the Games are in Winnipeg, a place where many of the athletes probably haven’t had a chance to travel yet.
“There’s a lot of excitement,” she said. “It’s a nice trip for them.”
MacKinnon remembers back when her brother went to the Canada Games in the 1980s and came home with a gold medal. She hopes that some of the athletes will get to experience that same thrill of success.
This year she’ll be going as a spectator to cheer on the local athletes, particularly those she knows on the softball team.
In addition to seeing a new part of Canada and the excitement of taking part in this calibre of an event she said it’s a great opportunity for the athletes to meet and talk with other athletes from across the country.
She knows they’ll do the county proud.
Pictou County Athletes at the Canada Games
Heather Beaton, Stellarton
Logan Coulet, Westville
Megan Graham, Trenton
Tatum McLean, Greenhill
Lauren Quann, Pictou
Breanna Sandluck, Thorburn
Kaelan Schmidt, Sutherlands River
Jake Temple, Pictou
Lucia MacKay, New Glasgow
Jaren Johnson, New Glasgow
Tim Shea, Pictou
Courtney Smith, New Glasgow
Hilary Taylor, New Glasgow
Kelyn Palmer, New Glasgow
Randall Bernard, Pictou Landing
Peter Corbin, New Glasgow