Athletes from around the province are heading to Mississauga this weekend for the 2022 Ontario Summer Games for youth, including several competitors from North Simcoe.
Established in 1973, the four-day event happening this July 21 through July 25 will include 17 events featuring 3,500 athletes ranging in age between 12 to 18 years old. Sports will include archery, baseball, box lacrosse, canoe kayak sprint, golf, triathlon, women’s hockey, volleyball, and more.
In the golf event, the Simcoe County tour will be represented by Emma Benoit, 13, of Tiny Township, Amelia Craftchick, 16, of Penetanguishene, and Ally Ruston, 14, of Penetanguishene under coaching of Terry O’Brien.
The Northeastern Junior tour will see representation by Mackenzie Czapla, 17, of Tiny Township, Lea Lemieux, 15, of Sudbury, and Kylie Ruston, 15, of Penetanguishene under coaching of Andrew Lemieux.
Czapla has trained on and off the course daily leading up to her event.
“Golf requires equal parts mental strength and physical strength. I’m still working on the mental part of my golf game," she explained.
“I would have a feeling of accomplishment, knowing that my hard work and dedication for the sport I love has paid off,” she added.
Parent Amy Vassair noted that her daughters, Kylie and Ally Ruston, who have been golfing since they could walk, worked as hard on the golf course as they do at their efforts in school.
“To say I am proud of my kids and their determination would be an understatement,” said Vassair. “I have seen them grow into athletes representing tours and maintaining their composure over the years. It hasn’t always been easy for them but year after year they return to the course to compete with the best in Ontario.”
Czapla’s parent, Cynthia, also spoke highly of Mackenzie and her determination both on the greens and in the world at large.
“We are very proud of Mackenzie, there isn’t anything she can’t accomplish in life,” said Cynthia.
Additional athletes from the area to attend the Ontario Summer Games include Terry Wang, Sonya Mehta, Alex Dusome, and Bryce McLaren for the women’s hockey event, coached by Martin Nagel.
A full list of sports, participants, schedules, results, and other details about the events can be found on the 2022 Ontario Summer Games website.
Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, MidlandToday.ca