The 2011 Canada Winter Games will take place in Halifax this week, so for story #6 we’re highlighting the contributions of the athletes, coaches and support staff on Team BC.
Wheelchair basketball was first introduced at the 1995 Canada Games in Grand Prairie, Alberta and is the only wheelchair sport at the Winter Games. Not only are the Canada Games teams made up of a mix of able-bodied and disabled athletes, but they’re also co-ed. (Teams get an extra classification point for every woman they have on the floor).
For some athletes, the Canada Games are a stepping stone to Paralympic competition. For others, the tournament is a chance of a lifetime to experience the excitement of a Olympic-like, multi-sport event. But while the athletes are the ones winning the medals, Team BC’s achievements would not be possible without the dedication of coaches, support staff, teammates back home, and parents who drive athletes to every practice and cheer them on.
Here is Team BC’s Canada Winter Games team:
Nathan Bragg (Maple Ridge)
Stephanie Park (Maple Ridge, 2011 U25 national team athlete )
Coti Koski (White Rock)
Natalie Imbeau (West Vancouver)
Erin Higgins (Delta)
Jack Kosterman (Langley)
Kelsey Dyck (Langley)
Matt Ficocelli (Kelowna, 2009 U23 national team athlete)
Dieon Green (Victoria, 2009 U23 national team athlete, Team Co-Captain)
Avril Harris (Prince George, Team Co-Captain)
Derek Lundie (Delta)
Erik Vliegenthart (Kamloops)
Head Coach: Cheryl Corrigan (Richmond)
Assistant Coach: Ross McDonald (Burnaby)
Team Manager: Makiko Harada (Vancouver)
BC Wheelchair Sports wishes the 2011 Canada Winter Games team good luck in Halifax. To cheer them on, leave your own comment below and we'll pass it along to the team. Here are some video interviews we conducted with some athletes and coaching staff. To follow the team’s progress, check out BC Wheelchair Basketball's website at www.bcwbs.ca.