Let’s keep active together, apart!
Over these past few post-COVID-19 weeks I have been trying to give a shout-out to the people or businesses who are promoting fitness. I have brought up Dan Fletcher’s name before because of the positive challenges he has posted for his students and by happy accident, the wider public. Now Shihan Dan has become more prescribed for his Manitoulin School of Martial Arts’ (MSMA) charges.
During this unprecedented time of the pandemic, the MSMA has had to adapt its method of teaching the martial arts and become more familiar with technology and virtual platforms. Shihan Dan has been hosting karate classes using the Zoom app. He has been hosting classes for three weeks now and the response has been overwhelming. He has had to split the classes in two: one for beginners (white, yellow, orange) and one for advanced belts (green, blue, brown and black). Classes are hosted on Wednesdays (from his living room) at 6 pm and 7 pm for approximately 45 minute sessions. He has also suspended all tuition payments during this time as well to help families out. His goal is to provide classes to keep the students interested and engaged, give them something physical to do at home and have something to look forward to during the week. The MSMA has also invited guest instructors from Sudbury and Toronto to teach and train with them. His one regret is that belt gradings have been postponed because it’s hard to judge performance and strength through a computer screen. If anyone is interested in participating in karate from the comfort of your own home, you can email Shihan Dan at email@example.com.
Island athletes earn notice!
Three Island lads did very well in recent North Bay post-secondary school awards. First, the Canadore College Panthers awarded goalie Evan Peltier with their Most Valuable Player trophy. For those that saw the movie ‘Indian Horse,’ Evan was the goalie visible especially in the dressing room scenes. Meanwhile, former Manitoulin player Ethan Corbiere of Aundeck Omni Kaning picked up Canadore’s Rookie-of-the-Year trophy.
On the university scene the Nipissing Lakers award was no surprise. Multi-sport athlete Bo Peltier earned Rookie-of-the-Year for the university’s Lakers Lacrosse squad. Nipissing plays in the Division One University Lacrosse League. Bo plays every sport going and was a AAA hockey player as well as skating in the NOJHL with the Powassan Voodoos and later had a stint with the Major Jr. North Bay Battalion. Congratulations, guys.
Where are they now?
From a blast from the present to the past: Mark Killens! Back to the ‘vault’ that is my father’s amazing memory for local Island athletes. Starting as a very young d-man in Manitowaning Mark Killens was a force to be concerned about for opposition coaches. A solid skater, though not overly fast, he was a tank! Trying to knock him down was essentially impossible. Every time a team played the Wolves was the challenge of getting to the net past the hulking Killens.
Mark played with the Wolves until the end of his peewee year. At that time a new higher-level North Shore and Manitoulin rep League was formed. Young Killens moved on to the Manitoulin Dolomite bantams that played out of Mindemoya and the next three years he starred for the MDBs. Players at this time were blessed with three years of bantam as the CAHA changed age requirements for the cohort.
Throughout the North, opposing teams especially in tournaments learned to stay away from the physical defenseman. Mark earned many MVP awards during these tournaments. He, along with Derek Cranston and Bruce Robertson, were the core of the team that competed with AAA teams which one more than they lost.
Mark now lives in Grand Bend with his wife Kim and two children. He is a real estate agent and one of his sons, Dion, is a super runner. Just this fall, Dion became a member of the national college cross-country Champions running for Fanshawe College in Peterborough. His team, known as the Falcons, traveled to Grand Prairie ,Alberta to take on the best of 2020 in the CCAA national championships.
In the men’s eight kilometre race the Falcons were victorious with an astonishing score of 32. It was their fourth national championship. Also on the team was Luke Grool of Blind River. Congrats to Dion and parents, Mark and Kim.
A good sport is good for sports.