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

VIDEO: Truck hits rock, rolls over, gets wrecked

Accident happened Saturday night along South Forks Road

Propeller problem causes cancellation of 38 ferry sailings

B.C. Ferries is advising that repairs to one of the vessels are taking longer than expected

Steaks stolen from supermarket in Nanaimo

Shopping basket full of steak taken from the Save-On-Foods at Country Club Centre

Taxing Vancouver Island

Big Read: find out which communities are paying the lowest and highest taxes on Vancouver Island

Lawyer fired in Nanaimo courtroom during trial for dangerous driving causing death

Dustin Dennis Zinter was charged following November 2015 accident in Cedar

Nanaimo celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day

Event held Thursday at Maffeo Sutton Park

First robotics competition whirs into Nanaimo school district

Students put their robots to the task at event

One petition opposes tent city, one petition supports it

Two petitions set up on Change.org this week regarding Nanaimo’s Discontent City

First regularly scheduled jet airplane service from Nanaimo takes off

Nanaimo Airport celebrates launch of Air Canada’s non-stop seasonal service to and from Toronto

Amalgamation fails in North Cowichan and Duncan

North Cowichan says yes, but Duncan says no

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Nanaimo woman graduates high school at age 92

Joan Deebank is the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as the ministry can confirm

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Most Read