ICG vice-president Igor Topole presents Kelowna boys beach volleyball team members Maxim Gagne (left) and Maxwell Ivans (right) the Fair Play award. -Image: Contributed

Positive experience in Lithuania for Team Kelowna

Fourteen Kelowna athletes compete at International Children’s Games

Team Kelowna is back home after the experience of a lifetime at the International Children’s Summer Games in Kaunas, Lithuania.

Fourteen young local athletes between the ages of 12 and 15 competed in swimming, beach volleyball and sailing, from July 4 to 9.

Eight Kelowna swimmers achieving personal bests, while the beach volleyball girls won three of their matches and finished fifth at the games.

Two sailors, Gabriella Littleton and Ryan Rubadeau, each brought home a bronze medal.

The biggest award at the games was presented to two Kelowna athletes. The boys’ beach volleyball team of Maxim Gagne and Maxwell Ivans won the ICG’s Fair Play Award.

“It is considered the biggest award an athlete or coach can receive at the International Children’s Games,” said Heather Schneider, president of the Kelowna ICG Legacy Committee. “The Games are an incredible opportunity for our Kelowna athletes to gain valuable international competition experience.

“However, fair play and good sportsmanship is always a prime focus. It is an incredible honour to have members of Team Kelowna receive this prestigious award”.

Maxim Gagne and Maxwell Ivans were selected for this award from over 1,700 athletes and coaches and hundreds of volunteers at the Games. They were singled out out because of their positive attitude, consistent fair play, and support of the other volleyball teams at the event. The team has only been together for a few short months and experienced a one and six record at the games finishing eighth.

The International Children’s Games is one of the largest multi-sport youth games in the world and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee. Kelowna hosted the International Children’s Winter Games in 2011 and have attended all subsequent games since. Team Kelowna now has 22 medals to its record in just six years (5 gold, 6 silver and 11 bronze). It is one of a few cities that have won both summer and winter games medals.

The next summer games will be taking place in Jerusalem, Israel in late July 2018.

The Team Kelowna delegation in Kaunas, Lithuania were:

Beach Volleyball: Tessa Ivans, Jasaana Kunz, Maxim Gagne and Maxwell Ivans, and coaches Jacky Ivans and Cheryl Gagne.

Sailing: Gabriella Littleton and Ryan Rubadeau, and coach Devin Rubadeau

Swimming: Olivia Courtney, Flyn Huber. Evan Kohnke, Brandon Mullin, Ella Rolleston, Brooklyn Semashkewich, Renier Stone, Journee Tozer and coach Linda La Lone

The head of delegation was Lance Macdonald and the city representative was Heather Schneider.