Ice Chips & Canoe Quips


Thanks to everyone who helped me put together last week’s column. I know now when they say there is a hard deadline, there is no joke. It might be a little dated but it will follow below. 

Virtual race, real effort!

M’Chigeeng’s Laurie Beaudin has been a runner for a long time and pre-COVID had signed up for the Ottawa Half Marathon that was, of course, cancelled. Organizers, however, challenged registrants to complete their race distance on their own time as a kind of virtual race. Laurie completed her 21.1 km trek this past weekend in and around M’Chigeeng.

She had a lot of people along the route holding up encouraging signs and yelling out supportive cheers that must have helped her super two hours and 17 minute timing. Others offered horn honks and rehydration care. Congratulations, Laurie. Maybe not as exciting as a trip to Ottawa but so many more people were able to be “there” for you.

Outran the Sun!

Hats off to Manitowaning’s Yana Bauer who competed in the Running Room’s virtual Outrun the Sun Solstice 5K over the weekend. Yana had her goal set to go for a sub-30 minute run and she did manage to beat it. Way to go, Yana!

Assiginack badminton!

Assiginack Township is going to try hosting badminton again, but in a different format, while trying to keep everyone safe. Already in session, until August 18, on Tuesday evenings badminton will once again be available at the arena from 6:30 to 8 pm. At this time only 10 people will be allowed in the facility. This opportunity is open to all ages. Please observe social distancing measures!

Free coaching webinars 

Everyone is still holding their collective breaths hoping the 2020-2021 hockey season can still roll out in some way, normally. In the meantime players can still get in their dryland workouts and similarly, coaches can get in their own training. 

Although some sessions have already finished, NOHA (Northern Ontario Hockey Association) has and will still be offering more of its coaching development webinar series. Each webinar is hosted by a highly qualified trainer offering a specific skill required by hockey coaches. 

For instance the next one is titled: ‘Building a Coach/Goaltender Relationship in Minor Hockey’ and is slated to take place this coming Monday, June 29 from 6 to 7:15 pm hosted by presenter Dan Stewart, who is the goaltender coach of the OHL’s Soo Greyhounds.

Amazingly, all of the sessions are free. The clinics are delivered in an online webinar format. Attendees just need a laptop with a sufficient internet connection to view the presentation. The concepts presented will include key theories on developing a relationship with your goaltenders, learning how to effectively utilize resources, video examples and an opportunity to ask questions.

Coaches who attend will receive three Certification Maintenance Points towards their Development 1 or High Performance 1 certified status. You can find the link through the NOHA website or at Keep on improving, coaches!

The Attempt continues!

The unique and educational “attempt” at circumnavigating all of Manitoulin’s lakes has now seen the intrepid pair follow the shorelines of four of our amazing lakes. Natalie Hastings and Kristin Bickell have now accumulated 35.8 km in total after having dipped their canoe ‘Le Tigre’ in Bass Lake in Sheguiandah, Sucker Lake in Assiginack, finally Windfall and Big Lakes within Central Manitoulin. 

The pair know that these relatively small lakes (all less than 11 kilometers around) are good training for the bigger ones that will need multiple days. They are enjoying their time, however taking their time smelling and taking pictures of the flowers and all kinds of amazing wildlife. 

Keep up the good work, guys and keep having fun! 

No Current to Killarney for 2020

I guess it was just a matter of time but the inevitable call had to be made. Organizers were delaying the decision and toying with the idea of possibly choosing another date closer to the fall. Let us all hope that this terrific race on the OMCKRA (Ontario Marathon Canoe Kayak Racing Association) circuit will take place next summer without a hitch.

National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration

One paddling event that is still scheduled was a small, community paddling regatta in Wiikwemkoong Bay on National Indigenous Peoples Day. What a great way to celebrate an important day. Organizer Rosetta Toulouse encouraged community members to see how many kayaks and canoes they could get out on the bay! Thanks for organizing this, Rosetta. It is heartening to see people inspiring people to get out and be more active. Have fun!

Local fisherman featured in magazine!

Dane Gibeault, 11, had a great picture of him holding up a 13-pound pike that he caught in the North Channel in Ontario Out of Doors. The caption describes Dane as a “fish whisperer” and is an apt moniker because the youngster really has the knack and often out-fishes his Dad. I’m open to tips, Dane! 

A good sport is good for sports