Daniel Helm and Esther Walkley did Tumbler Ridge proud by representing the community at the BC Winter games in Trail BC, February 23-26. The TRSS Grade 9 students took a bus to Chetwynd, then picked up more athletes in Dawson Creek, then moved on to Ft St John. There they caught a chartered plane to Penticton, and took a bus to Trail. Esther?s dad Fred went along as a coach.
The athletes were housed in a school in Rossland. There were two age groups; Midgets were born in 1992, and Juveniles were born in 1991. A couple of thousand athletes participated in the games. The pair were to compete in three cross country ski races: a 5 K classical ski race, a 500 meter sprint race, and a 1.7 K relay race with 4 members. The skiing events were held at the Blackjack cross-country ski club.
Daniel finished 7th out of 13 competitors in the 5 K classic; 6th out of 13 in the 500 m sprint; and the team finished 9th in the 1.7 K relay. Daniel finished 5th for his leg of the relay.
Esther competed in the 5K and the sprints, but unfortunately fell ill and did not compete in the relay. ?I was happy with how I raced and received a number of tips on how to improve my technique?, noted the on-the-mend skier. ?It was fun. It is not something that everyone gets to do, and it was nice to go to a different place?.
They had good weather with sunny blue skies. Daniel and Esther both commented on the level of snow the area had seen. ?There was a fence around the soccer field, and the snow was up over the fence?. Daniel also gave credit to his coach at the games, Dana Manhard, who provided good information on waxing tips for skis and the technique of skiing. ?It was an amazing experience. The competition was very focused, and at the same time, very friendly?, summarized the track way finder.