No shortage of local talent at Ontario Summer Games (update)

By CityNews Kitchener Staff

The Ontario Summer Games open in London on Thursday.

The athletes, ranging in age from 12 to 18, will be competing in sports such as baseball, cycling, diving and rugby. 

The games wrap up on Sunday.

KitchenerToday talked to a few of the local athletes before they left for the games:

“I feel a sense of pride in that I get to represent my team and region at the games.  I also feel that the summer games is a great learning opportunity in that athletes from across the province will get a chance to learn from each other.” said Lazar Paroski.

The 14-year-old who is from Kitchener will be competing in indoor volleyball. 

He will be going into grade 9 at PRDG (Waterloo Region's on Francaphone high school) in the fall. He's also hoping to play volleyball at the university level.

Bethany Hofstetter, 16, of Kitchener will be competing in the sport of rugby.

“Being able to compete in the summer games provides an opportunity for exposure into a new level of athletic competition, as well as the ability to learn new skills and increase development.” said Hofstetter.

“Competing in the summer games means I can try to do my best in my competitions, and I can catch up with my diving friends.” said Kitchener's Calum Roberts, 12, who will be competing in diving.

Jayden Boxwell, 16, from Kitchener, will be playing rugby at the games.

“Going to the summer games for me is a great opportunity as it gives me a chance to compete against players at a higher level from all over Ontario. To be honest I really just love the game so any chance to play and meet future teammates is an added bonus.”

Emily Dodge, 15, just moved to Kitchener from Sudbury last year.

She qualified for four sports at the Ontario Summer Games, but will focus on triathlon and road cycling.

“Last year I competed at the North American Indigenous Games. That was huge and very emotional for me.” said Dodge.

“I'm going into the games with a positive attitude. I'm going to do my best and hope to do well in the end..and have a lot of fun.” she added.

“I had to take a couple of months off of training because my mom and I were in a car accident where we were hit by a hydro boom truck. So I had to take time off to heal and go through therapy. It was hard not training and I had a lot of catching up to do once I did recover.  But I've trained a lot the last couple of months and feel good.”

Kitchener's Ashlynn Freiburger will be competing in volleyball.

“Competing in the Ontario Summer Games means so much to me. I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to represent Kitchener and Ontario Region 3 in the sport that I love – volleyball!” the 13-year-old told KitchenerToday.

'Not only did I get the opportunity to train at the OVA High Performance Camp for 5 days but I also got to play in a 3 day summer games volleyball tournament with the best teammates ever.” They encouraged me, made me laugh but most importantly they made me stronger as a player and a person. I loved this experience and will be sad to see it end. I will cherish the memories and new friends that I made.”

“Being able to attend the summer games means a lot to me because it gives me a chance to learn from some of the best coaches and practice with the top 14u female athletes from regions 1 to 6, then compete against them during the summer games. This allows the me to develop social skills, leading to better friendships in the volleyball world. It’s a very special opportunity to be apart of because it only occurs every two years so luckily it fell on my year of 14u. Overall it’s just a very happy and exciting environment to be in because I get to see all the 14u female and male athletes striving to achieve their goals as great volleyball players.” said Kitchener's Nyla Moua, who is competing in volleyball.

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