Local talent off to Canada Games

Boxers Liam Dempster, Matt Fraser and Alex Bulgaru arrive at the Calgary International Airport en route to Red Deer for the 2019 Canada Winter Games. Photo by Communications Nova Scotia/Len Wagg

RED DEER, ALBERTA: Team Nova Scotia athletes are on the ground in Red Deer and ready to represent Bluenose pride to the rest of Canada.

Nine athletes and two support staff from the local area are attending.

Three members of the province’s women’s hockey team come from Antigonish, and they include Ella MacLean, Landyn Pitts, and Kara MacLean. Also serving with the team is Antigonish’s Shauna Neary as an apprentice coach.

Both the 17-year-old MacLean and the 16-year-old Pitts are mainstays with the Nothern Subway Selects. MacLean, who plays defense, is setting her sights high for the games. “[I’d like to] win a goal medal game for my province,” she said.

Pitts, a forward, has similar hopes for her squad including, “to play the best hockey of my career and contribute to the team placing the best they ever have.”

With them is MacLean, a 15-year-old forward playing with the Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep school team.

“I would be honoured to win gold at the Canada Games for my province,” she said.

Antigonishers Courtney MacDonald and Eriq Proctor are helping represent the province’s badminton team. Both the 20-year-old MacDonald and the 19-year-old Proctor train at the Antigonish Badminton Club under coach Robert Proctor.

Antigonish can also take pride in the efforts of boxer Matt Fraser and freestyle skier Marcus MacDonald who have made the cut. MacDonald is a 15-year-old who competes with the Wentworth Freestyle League.

Fraser is a standout with the Albion Boxing Club in Trenton, and took a first place at the 2018 Super Channel Championship.

“My goals for the 2019 Canada Winter Games are to win a gold medal in boxing for Team Nova Scotia, enjoy the experience with my teammates, meet athletes from across the country, take in the sport events, and have fun,” the 17-year-old said.

“This event will also be a great opportunity to gain experience and help prepare for Nationals in British Columbia in April.”

Inverness County is also represented on the team, with Kenzie MacPhail of Inverness backstopping the men’s hockey team and Sherri Robicheau of Creignish serving as the manager of the archery team.

MacPhail, a 15-year-old who is well known for his efforts with the Cape Breton West Islanders, said his goals for the game are focused on “play[ing] like I can and try[ing] my best to help my team win as many games as possible.”

Baddeck’s Caden MacLeod made the cut on the cross country skiing team. The 15-year-old has competed at the Eastern Canadian Championships, nationals, and many local races.