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

Langley hosting high-flying fun at annual gymnastics tournament

Action runs Friday through Sunday at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.

BREAKING: Plecas won’t run in next election if legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Langley Secondary students rehearse upcoming musical comedy

The Langley Secondary Musical Theatre Company presents Guys and Dolls on Feb. 22.

Guatemala mission offers hope, health

Peninsula team to visit remote villages, build a home, in Piedra Blanca

Cloverdale nurse, Langley truck driver awarded for saving a police officer’s life

Angela Feltrin and Earl Hanes thanked by B.C. RCMP’s top cop

VIDEO: How much snow do you have?

Langley residents are being asked to share images of their snow to enter for a $20 coffee card.

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Flying squirrels found to glow pink in the dark, including two from B.C.

Squirrels from Hope and Abbotsford were included in the biologists’ database

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Man taken to hospital for smoke inhalation, burns after fire at RV park

Firefighters find man suffering from smoke inhalation, burns to face and hands: battalion chief

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

No Center of Gravity festival in Kelowna this summer: organizers

COG organizers said the hope is to return to the Okanagan in 2020

Most Read