Katie Davidson didn’t have to travel all that far to get her first taste of BC Summer Games competition.
The 12-year-old was the lone Langley athlete on the Zone 3 squad taking part in the synchronized swimming competition at the Walnut Grove Community Centre’s pool.
Davidson, who attends Langley Fundamental Middle & Secondary School and is a member of the BC Aquasonics, switched to synchronized swimming after a back injury forced her off the gymnastics mat.
So far, so good for Davidson.
Roughly eight months into her newly adopted sport, and she was already competing in the provincial games, hosted by Abbotsford (Langley was the site of synchronized swimming as well as canoe/kayak and rowing events).
“I like it a lot,” Davidson said, of her first games experience. “It’s really fun, and it’s a challenge for me.”
She said the lead-up to the games was nerve-wracking.
“It was really intimidating,” she said with a smile. “It was a really big challenge for me. It was a really big step up from anything I’ve ever done before.”
Zone 3 head coach Tina Naveri noted that Davidson is the only freshman on her team, which includes a couple of second year members and the rest being made up of athletes with at least three years experience in the sport.
On a personal note, Naveri coached at the games for the eighth time, and said it’s always an indelible moment for everyone involved.“I always highly recommend athletes to try out and come to the games because it’s such a great experience for them,” Naveri said.
For the athletes she coaches, Naveri approaches them the same way: “We give them the fundamentals that they need in order to succeed, and by allowing them to compete in events such as this, it shows them what they can achieve, and it pushes them to work that much harder to make those goals and achievements.”
Davidson and her Zone 3 teammates Kayla Drew (Chilliwack) and Surrey’s Anaya Jhutti, Sirona Lyon, Ilona Potecaru, Madisen Roberts, Fannia Xu, and Shirley Xiao-Yi Yang combined to win bronze in the overall 13 to 15 Age Group team standings.