The Kelowna girl’s basketball team wearing their silver medals with coach Mitchell Goodwin at the International Children’s Games in Israel. Photo submitted

Kelowna girls bring home silver from Israel

Kelowna represented Canada during the International Children’s Games

The Kelowna girls basketball team took home more than a silver medal during their first competition at the International Children’s Games in Israel.

“It’s surreal,” Mitchell Goodwin, coach for the girls’ team, said. “I was so nervous, but we learned so much. The first few days we met everyone and were so busy that we forgot we were there for basketball. It was just such an amazing experience.”

They were accompanied by a Kelowna boys basketball team and two swimmers to represent Canada along with two Ontario teams on July 28.

Related: Goodwin booked for North Okanagan Hoops and Hustle

Kelowna has been sending teams to the International Olympic Committee-sanctioned event for the past 10 years. There, children from cities around the world between the ages of 12 and 15 compete in a variety of sports and cultural activities.

“When we walked out during the opening ceremonies there were about 40 of us (Canadians),” Goodwin said. “The Canadians were a very popular bunch, the reputation we have drew people to us and they wanted to get to know us. There was something really special about it.”

This is the first year Kelowna has sent basketball teams and Goodwin is proud to say the girls received medals in their first year.

Related: A first for Heritage Christian basketball

In a game against a team from Netanya, Israel, the girls played hard and were awarded silver.

The boys’ basketball team placed fourth, leaving the games with a cultural experience and as proud ambassadors for Canada.

“There aren’t many kids that can say they played on an international scale, whether or not we performed well, we were there to meet kids from all over the world and wear Kelowna, Canada on our chests,” Goodwin said.

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