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

Crews are working to contain the wildfire north of Okanagan Connector

Update: Aug. 15 Crews will continue to mop up and extend hose… Continue reading

Animal rights activists to protest Kelowna’s RibFest launch

Animal rights activists plan on sinking their teeth into an annual event they say is unethical and unhealthy.

Return of Indigenous carver puts Okanagan College back on cutting edge

Artist Darren McKenzie will return to teach his popular course on Indigenous carving in October

No end in sight, smoke is here to stay

There is no anticipated change in weather for the Okanagan-Shuswap this week

$26,000 raised for youth programs at Kelowna lawn bowling event

On the Lawn was held throughout the summer to support Elevation Outdoors

No growth on the Monashee Complex wildfires

Mabel Creek, Sugar Mountain and Harris Creek fires continue to burn near Lumby and Cherryville

Three new fires sparked in the South Okanagan- Similkameen

BC Wildfire Service is responding to a blaze off Olalla forest service road

Liberals look at creating federal holiday to mark legacy of residential schools

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde said day to recognize painful legacy would boost understanding

RCMP deploys officers to help B.C. communities impacted by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to communities particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

B.C. gangster charged after man allegedly beaten with a golf club

Langley man facing aggravated assault charge after incident allegedly involved golf club and machete

Increasing temperatures challenge crews on Snowy Mountain

The Snowy Mountain wildfire near Keremeos remains out-of-control

Are you Canada’s next Masterchef?

Home cooks looking to follow their cuisine dreams can apply now.

Regional climate adaptation agriculture testing to expand in B.C.

Ottawa funds farm projects to conserve water, remove invasive species

Most Read