Canada Summer Games: First wins for Nunavut teams in beach volleyball

Players Ian McDonald and Aiden Anawak secured an 18-21, 21-16, 15-12 win over the Yukon Beach Volleyball Team on Tuesday. The women’s team, made up of Talia Grant and Shawna Kyak, also won its match on Monday 21-13 and 21-13 against the opponents of the Yukon team.

It was a good game!exclaims Shawna Kyak, 21.

The Iqaluit player had been playing for the indoor volleyball team since 2017, before beach volleyball piqued her curiosity. “At first it was really difficult,” she says, recalling training in the south of the country. Running in the sand, without forgetting the sun [et] the heat. »

Players Talia Grant (left) and Shawna Kyak (right) represent Nunavut in women’s beach volleyball at the Canada Summer Games in Niagara, Ontario.

Photo: Photo courtesy of Rob Tomyn

Grand Delegation of Nunavummiut

The Nunavut team chef de mission, Jeff Seeteenak, also points out that the Nunavut contingent this year had never been larger. About 60 representatives from 15 communities in the territory formed their delegation, including athletes, coaches and support staff. It’s exciting for us, he says. It shows that we are progressing.

Besides volleyball, Nunavut is represented in two other disciplines, wrestling and track and field in the 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relays.

Jeff Seeteenak adds that his delegation felt a great excitement at the idea of ​​taking part in national competitions: They are really proud to be here, he said. They want to show what they are capable of.

Everything is possible

In Nunavut, athletes face different challenges from southern Canada, including limited training spaces, shorter training seasons and sometimes small teams.

During the summer, the players spent several weeks training in Halifax as well as Vancouver, Kelowna and Kamloops, British Columbia. Nunavummiut Ian McDonald acknowledges that many people were surprised to see Nunavut athletes playing beach volleyball.

Many people were very surprised because we don’t have any beaches to go to. »

A quote from Jeff Seeteenak, Nunavut Team Chef de Mission

Although the town of Iqaluit has a beach, at Apex he says the conditions are not ideal for training. “We tried to play on our beach, but it was a little dangerous because it’s kind of a gathering place for campfires,” says Jeff Seeteenak.

He also believes that the participation of Nunavut athletes sends an inspiring message to young people in the territory who aspire to break into the sport. Everything is possible, he insists. “Go straight ahead and do your best”.

The Canada Summer Games are in full swing until August 21.

With information from Paul Hunter, Sheena Goodyear and Sarah Krymalowski

HERE Far North

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