Christopher Horwood hopes to fare well in the slalom competition during next week’s BC Summer Games in Abbotsford. He competes with brother John and nearly 20 other Oak Bay athletes July 21 to 24.

Christopher Horwood hopes to fare well in the slalom competition during next week’s BC Summer Games in Abbotsford. He competes with brother John and nearly 20 other Oak Bay athletes July 21 to 24.

Oak Bay water skiers double on BC Games

Oak Bay has more than 20 athletes slated to compete this summer as well as coaches

John and Christopher Horwood exist, in part, because of the BC Summer Games.

The Oak Bay twins’ mom, Tina Horwood, loves to tell the tale to her students at Oak Bay High, who apparently also enjoy the story, of how she met her husband. Tina’s dad hired waterski coach Dick Horwood to train her leading up to her Summer Games competition years ago. They’re now married with kids with multiple trips to both winter and summer renditions of the Games.

The BC Winter and BC Summer Games are the province’s biennial celebration of sport and community. Since 1978, the Games have taken place in 38 communities involving more than 350,000 participants and volunteers. This year, Oak Bay athletes John and Christopher scored places in both seasons. The figure skaters competed in February in the juvenile boys U14 category. Christopher skated a personal best – his goal for these Games – and earned bronze medal while John finished just behind his brother in fourth.

This month they take it off the ice and on the water in the towed watersports competition.

“It’s pretty much the opposite,” says John with a laugh. The pair, going into Grade 8 at Lansdowne Middle School this fall, compete against each other and for Vancouver Island in trick, jump and slalom water skiing.

John, as he does on the ice, loves the jumping.

“I just like flying off the jump on a good jump, especially in a headwind ‘cause it pulls your skis up and if feels really good,” he says. “I think with my brother and I, if we ski really well we could bring back some gold and silver (medals).”

Christopher tends to prefer, and fare well in, slalom competition.

“I don’t know why I’m good at it. I guess I practice it more because I like it more. It’s more natural for me to go around buoys than off a ramp,” he says with a laugh. “When it’s calm it’s really fun, because it’s smooth and no wind against your face.”

The twins are accustomed to facing each other in competition. “We’re pretty even in trick and the overall scores, it really depends,” Christopher says.

The Horwood clan tends to hit the road, leaving Oak Bay for the warm waters of Shawnigan Lake each summer. “We can all do it as a family. Everyone in our family skis, so it’s fun,” says Christopher.

The Games are an opportunity the boys look forward to, with tales handed down by both of their older sisters, who each competed twice in waterski competition at the Summer Games.

“The Games are different to a lot of competitions. There’s the team part of it and the bus and sleeping in the school. It’s a really fun opportunity to just really enjoy it with team members,” Christopher says. “I love being around other people that I can relate with. It’s fun with the dance and all that, being with other people you’ve never met.”

The pair head for Washington state training camp right after competition ends in Abbotsford.

Oak Bay has more than 20 athletes slated to compete this summer as well as coaches: Izzy Champion (athletics), Shannon McMillan (athletics), Makayla Dickinson (athletics), Leo Mah (athletics), Noah Takacs (baseball), Leo Jansch (baseball), Ethan Brownsey (basketball 3×3), Hunter Williams (basketball 3×3), Matthew Geng (basketball), Hannah Stevens (sailing), Alex Morrow (soccer), Will Stokes (soccer), Jackson Walch (soccer), Gabby Freer (softball), Mareya Valeva (swimming), Caoimhe McElroy (synchronized swimming), Jonathan Horwood (towed watersports), Christopher Horwood (towed watersports), Brandon Thom (volleyball), Zach Monckton (volleyball). Oak Bay’s Delani Hulme-Law is tasked with coaching sailing.

Among the plethora of athletes from the community are a trio of Eagles baseball players, also Oak Bay High students, Noah Takacs, 14, Dawson Clark, 15, and Leo Jansch, 15.

“It’s nice to get to know more players from other areas, said Leo,, a pitcher and first-baseman, who starts Grade 10 at Oak Bay high in the fall. They’ll compete with a second Island zone baseball team as well as others across the province during the BC Summer Games July 21 to 24.

“It’s the experience for me,” says Noah, centerfielder and pitcher who starts high school in the fall. “It’s a pretty cool thing.”

To make the baseball cut players must be 14 or 15 and the Summer Games are held every two years, so it’s a coup to be selected.

“You only get one shot to do it,” Dawson says.

While the camaraderie of hanging with new friends and overnighting on classroom floors at area schools is among the main draws, says centerfielder Dawson, “gold is always the goal.”

A realistic goal, all three agree. They also voice pride at representing their ball teams (Red Eagles for Noah, Black Eagles for Dawson and Leo), school and community.

The 30th BC Summer Games are in Abbotsford from July 21 to 24. As many as 3,667 participants (2,754 athletes, 535 coaches, and 378 officials) will compete in 18 sports – including three for athletes with a disability.

Follow the results at bcgames.org online.

If you attend the 2016 Summer Games next week, let us know your highlight.

 

 

Just Posted

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Victoria police continue to look for missing man Tyrone Goertzen and are once again asking for the public’s assistance in locating him. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police put out another call for help finding missing man

Tyrone Goertzen, 33, was first reported missing June 4

Rachel Rivera (left) and Claire Ouchi are a dynamic art duo known as the WKNDRS. The two painted the new road mural at Uptown. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Artistic mural at Uptown brings creativity, fun to summer shoppers in Saanich

Road installation the largest of its kind in Greater Victoria

Kathy and Doug LaFortune stand next to the new welcome pole now gracing the front entrance of KELSET Elementary School in North Saanich. LaFortune completed the piece after suffering a stroke with the help of his wife and son Bear. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
KELSET school in North Saanich unveils welcome pole on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Carver Doug LaFortune completed pole with the help of his son, wife after suffering a stroke

Colwood council is looking at potential summer weekend closures to traffic of a section of Ocean Boulevard at Esquimalt Lagoon, to allow for more of a park-like setting during summer events such as the popular Eats & Beats event, shown here in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Mayor lobbying for summer weekend closures of beachfront Colwood roadway

Rob Martin to bring motion forward to June 28 council meeting

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctors urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Most Read