Kelowna revives fortunes of a winter event

Kelowna’s lasting legacy for the International Children’s Games hosted by our city last weekend is that the winter version of this event can work.

Speed skaters Jordan Rosborough (front) and Chris Neykov round the corner during an exhibition skate at the International Children’s Games venue

Speed skaters Jordan Rosborough (front) and Chris Neykov round the corner during an exhibition skate at the International Children’s Games venue

Kelowna’s lasting legacy for the International Children’s Games hosted by our city last weekend is that the winter version of this event can work.

While the summer version of the ICG has carried on annually since Celje, Slovenia, hosted the inaugural event in 1968, the winner version of the Games has not taken off in the same way.

Kelowna was the fifth city to host an International Children’s Winter Games, with the next city to host the Winter Games in three years yet to be named.

Close to 500 athletes and 126 coaches descended on Kelowna for this year’s ICG, representing 38 cities from 13 countries. New sports were also introduced—ice hockey and speed skating.

Heather Schneider, chair of the Kelowna organizing committee, said that Team Kelowna’s 69 athletes and 19 coaches, the largest competing delegation, were also “great ambassadors.”

“As the host city, they were all great representatives of our community,” she said.

Schneider talked about the legacy of hosting the ICG for Kelowna in her final remarks at a press conference on Monday.

She said ICG officials were impressed by both the level of competition and the quality of the venues. One of the goals of the host city is to give athletes an experience of a lifetime, downplaying the importance of winning over the spirit of competition and meeting fellow athletes in their favourite sports.

Schneider said Kelowna was a convergence of shared experiences for athletes last weekend, based, she said, on the social network communication and the enthusiasm of being part of the ICG.

“One example of that is we know of two boys from the Darmstadt (Germany) hockey team who want to come back here this summer to train,” Schneider said, noting both kids’ parents were impressed by the “hockey experience” Kelowna has to offer.

Another legacy is that Kelowna is already primed to send a team to compete at the International Children’s Summer Games in Lanarkshire, Scotland, next summer, Aug. 3 to 8.

A team of 18 athletes competing in sailing, swimming, golf and track and field will represent Kelowna, as Schneider introduced two of them at the press conference

Tia Itterman, a 13-year-old swimmer with the Aqua Jets team, and Elizabeth Hardy, a 14-year-old 4.7 Laser single handed sailing class competitor, both said they were excited about the opportunity to literally compete in international waters. (See photos page A3.)

For Itterman, it will be her first trip to Europe, while Hardy was in France in November to take a training program in the Mediterranean Sea.

Like all their ICG teammates, they were chosen because of their age—all ICG athletes are 12 to 15 years of age—and the points they had accrued competing in local events.

Eric Stansfield, media coordinator for the Kelowna ICG organizing committee, said Monday it was hard to believe the event was over. “All the preparation that goes into hosting an event like this, it’s hard to believe how it’s over so suddenly,” Stansfield said on Monday.

“But for the most part we are all on Cloud Nine. We received a lot of positive feedback so we all feel pretty good about that.

“The kids really loved the experience…they soaked it all up.”

Kelowna Capital News

Just Posted

Central Okanagan Public Schools (File photo)
COVID-19 exposure identified at West Kelowna school

The site of the exposure has been identified as Shannon Lake Elementary School

A West Kelowna man was seriously injured in a single-vehicle collision early on Tuesday morning. (Black Press file photo)
Single vehicle collision seriously injures West Kelowna man

The man was driving a pickup truck that went off the road and caught on fire

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Cheetahs can’t roar

Your morning start for Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Voix du Coeur is bringing music to seniors in retirement homes as restrictions slowly start to ease. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Trio sings opera to Okanagan seniors as pandemic restrictions ease

Voix du Coeur travel around the Okanagan to bring the joy of music to seniors for free

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

Teenagers make their way to Truswell Road after a party is broken up by police at the end of Mission Creek (Lorraine Besner/Contributed).
Kelowna residents concerned about ongoing alleged underage beach parties

Public urination, property damage, drinking and drug usage have become weekly concerns

Six United Way chapters around the province are merging into United Way B.C. (News Bulletin file photo)
6 United Way chapters merging around B.C.

Money raised in communities will stay in those communities, agency says

Val Litwin is the latest candidate to declare his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership. (Litwin campaign video)
Political newcomer joins contest for B.C. Liberal leadership

Val Litwin a former B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A new air cleaning technology will be installed at Unisus School in Summerland. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Virus cleaning pilot set for Unisus School in Summerland

Summerland-based lighting company to install technology at private school

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

Kelowna artist Bobby Vandenhoorn recently completed mural of late Canadian rock icon and activist Gord Downie now adorns Brenda Dalzell’s Sicamous business, the Bruhn Crossing Urban Market. (Contributed)
Canadian rock legend, activist Gord Downie inspires Sicamous mural

Business owner hopes artwork will help foster ongoing conversations around reconciliation

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Most Read