The excitement was clear on the girls’ faces as they warmed up for their last training session at home.
Kelowna divers Nyah Hedstrom, Addison Anonby and Samantha Viger left on Wednesday afternoon with their coach Christina Unger to Fort St. John for the 2020 B.C. Winter Games.
Unger said the girls have worked hard to get to where they are. Besides training for three hours four days a week, she said her athletes had to beat other divers in a qualifying round in Langley last December to be able to go to the games.
“They competed for two days and that gave them a qualifying score. One of my athletes, she actually couldn’t go because she was still recovering from her surgery,” Unger said.
“But she had a high enough score in previous competitions and she had a good report, so they let her go with a wildcard spot.”
Nyah had only been diving for four months and she said it felt surreal to be involved in a big competition.
“It’s kinda weird… but I have all my dives though, so I’m pretty confident,” she said.
“I’m feeling a little bit nervous, of course, but I’m still feeling pretty confident. It’s also cool because I was born in Fort St. John and I get to visit it again, which is nice.”
Addison has participated in various local meets but up until now, the biggest one she went to was the Novice Nationals in Kamloops.
“I don’t expect to win, but it would be cool if we did. But it’s just really cool to be a part of such a giant sporting event,” she said.
Samantha said she felt nervous and excited all at once, and that her goal is to have fun.
Unger said they trained hard, but the goal is to have fun at the end of the day.
“My main goal is for them to have fun with the experience. I don’t really care about them winning; they’re going up really stiff competition. As long as they have fun, that’s what I want to see,” she said.
“For myself, it’s a good learning opportunity whenever I go to a competition and I see what the other coaches are doing.”
The games’ opening ceremonies will be on Thursday. The Kelowna Springboard Diving Club athletes will be in meets from Friday until Sunday.