Daniel Loban (at right) celebrates his silver medal at the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games on Feb. 23. Kelowna’s Xander Appels, at left, won the bronze. Kristi Patton/Black Press

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Daniel Loban gave his best impression of Olympic snowboarder Sebastian Toutant as he posed on the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Games podium.

Throwing his hands in the air with a medal draped around his neck might be something that is commonplace among the young medal winners participating in the provincial multisport competition, but it is new for this group. As well for the three females who won medals in snowboard cross at Sun Peaks on Friday because for the first time in 40 years snowboarding events are included in the Games.

“I think it is pretty sick, especially because there is a lot of young athletes in snowboarding that are going to get a chance to compete in the B.C. Games. It is a stepping stone to bigger contests that is for sure. It is definitely a good atmosphere,” said Loban after the snowboard cross event.

WATCH: What you need to know at the B.C. Games

It was after the Penticton 2016 B.C. Winter Games that B.C. Snowboard approached the B.C. Games Society to include the sport into the multisport Games that occur every two years.

“It has been a great Games experience for the athletes to the coaches,” said Cathy Astofooroff, executive director of Snowboard B.C. “It is a chance for great exposure to the sport reaching kids and parents who we may not have otherwise touched.”

Astofooroff said B.C. has a growing snowboard culture and the senior team feeds 80 per cent of the national snowboard cross team.

“Every event we do — whether it is clubs, camps, officials training or education — it all helps build an athletic pathway for athletes and coaches and the Games are now definitely part of that pathway.”

WATCH: Looking back at the 1970 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

Kelly Mann, president and CEO of the B.C. Games Society said they go back to the provincial sport organizations every cycle to ask new sports to apply to be a part of the Games, to amend their programs and age groupings. It is up to the sport organization to have the administration capacity and they must have athletes, at minimum, in six of the eight zones that compete in the Games.

Mann believes it is an important role the B.C. Games Society holds to help foster growth in sport, from the athletes to the coaches.

For some participants it is a stepping stone on to further development provincially, nationally and then on the world stage at the Olympics. At the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, 19 B.C. Games and Team B.C. alumni suited up for Team Canada. The snowboard team included six athletes from British Columbia. And there is other athletes like Kelsey Serwa, competing in her third Olympics, who have benefitted from the support B.C. provides its athletes at different levels.

“Right now there is kids competing here in Kamloops that in eight years, there is no reason they can’t be on an Olympic podium,” said Mann. “B.C. has such a strong sport system investment from the provincial government. Look at the Olympic team right now, 25 per cent of the athletes are from British Columbia.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Blood donations saved Kelowna boy’s life

Cancer survivor Carter Milaney received multiple blood transfusions and a bone marrow transplant

Kelowna RCMP apprehend suspect in downtown bank robbery

The suspect faces potential criminal charges after the Bank of Nova Scotia was robbed Monday.

Study to be conducted for B.C. wine centre

The feasibility study will involve stakeholder engagement with wineries throughout B.C.

Kelowna Chamber taps into world market

The chamber has partnered with the World Trade Centre to help local businesses expand

Grab a pizza tomorrow and help some deserving kids

Papa John’s stores in Kelowna and West Kelowna will be participating in the 4th-annual Dreams for Kids Day

Toronto van attack suspect faces 10 counts of first-degree murder

The suspect in the Toronto van attack that killed 10 people and injured 15 others on Monday is a 25-year-old man named Alek Minassian

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

Fender bender stalls Kelowna traffic

A two-vehicle accident stalled westbound traffic in Kelowna on Tuesday

B.C. Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

The Culture Guard group has helped Hells Angels in the past, said its executive director.

B.C. bill aims to keep Indigenous kids in communities, out of care

Changes to Child, Family and Community Service Act could connect MCFD, Indigenous communities

Condo contract rules target B.C. property flippers

Regulations to prevent property transfer tax evasion

Okanagan gymnasts on the mark at Canada Cup

OGC performs in Montreal, two athletes headed to Columbia

Turning vehicles into deadly weapons is easy and cheap, expert says

Not all recent vehicle attacks have been linked to terror groups, says Candyce Kelshall

Canada not properly managing fish farms, environment commissioner says

Better standards are in place in British Columbia, meaning less fish have escaped, reports show

Most Read