Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Where are they now!?

From the desk of Dad. It seems that it wasn’t all that long ago that Aundeck Omni Kaning’s Mike Abotosaway was patrolling the blueline for the Manitoulin Panthers. He would’ve been 15 years old. As we get older time seems to fly faster, doesn’t it? This past week, Mike’s daughter Michaela tuned 20 years old. Holy Moly! I thought multi-sport athlete Mike was still a youngster. He was and still is a great sportsman. Besides hockey, Mike participates in fastball (he can slam home runs), strength-building, golf and any other sports activities. Did I see him refereeing too? Congratulations, Mike and wife on raising a fine young daughter. You were always a pleasure to coach and watch. Cheers.

Hockey is back!?

While hockey fans are holding their breath to the return of some normalcy the real players and teams are already planning on getting back on the ice to play their game. Aundek Omni Kaning’s Sam Assinewai has signed to play Jr. A with the Rayside-Balfour Canadians of the NOJHL. Way to go, Sam!

Stroll for Liver

So many worthy causes have had to adapt to keep fundraising dollars trickling in. In order to keep safe for participants and the public the annual ‘Stroll for Liver’ hosted by the Canadian Liver Foundation (CLF) is imploring everyone to still participate, albeit virtually. 

Locally, liver transplant recipient Wayne Aelick of Kagawong was looking for a way to give back to the CLF in appreciation of his life-saving surgery. He found out about the ‘Stroll for Liver’ rally taking place on August 30. Participants can join by taking part themselves or for a team and go on a “virtual walk.”

Mr. Aelick and his wife Anna, “registered as Team Aelick, and will be taking part in a walk in their back yard and community.” Manitoulin residents can support them and the CLF by sponsoring Team Aelick or creating their own team. On the Canadian Liver Foundation website they explain that this endeavor is “to help raise awareness and vital funds to propel life-changing research forward. We do this to help find cures and better treatment options for the people who need help right now. And we do this to make sure that anybody living with liver disease in Canada is able to access the support they deserve.”

Sportsfisherman extraordinaire!

Hats off once again to Sunsite Estate’s and Maple Point’s Dane Gibeault who won his dad, Mark, a mug from Ontario Out of Doors. Dane caught and released an awesome, 18 lb pike but not before dad snapped a picture for posterity. Dane, just 12 years old, has become a master fish-predator over the last few years. 

In other Gibeault sporting news, when not fishing, Dane and his sister Brooke can perform amazing kayak rolls to self-rescue themselves after capsizing. They can do the ‘crook of the elbow roll,’ ‘standard layback,’ ‘hand roll,’ ‘butterfly roll’ or even the ‘shotgun roll!’ In my case I would need to do the ‘stomach roll and swim out maneuver.’ Good work guys!

Under the category of ultra-tough athletes

Although not nearly local, in fact just about as far away from Manitoulin as possible, is the story of a groundbreaking ultra-marathoner, Cliff Young. Every year, Australia hosts an 875-kilometre endurance race from Sydney to Melbourne. It is considered among the world’s most grueling ultra-marathons. The race takes five days to complete and is normally only attempted by most hardened athletes who are often less than 30 years old and backed by company sponsorships.

In 1983, a man named Cliff Young showed up at the start of this race. Cliff was 61 years old and wore overalls and work boots. Of course everyone was skeptical but Cliff was optimistic. He figured growing up on a sheep farm of 2,000 acres and 2,000 animals, he had been training all of his life. He described that on occasion he would take several days to get all of the sheep herded and was not worried about this mere 875km race. 

When the race started, the pros quickly left Cliff behind. The crowds and television audience were entertained because Cliff didn’t even run properly; he appeared to shuffle. Many even feared for the old farmer’s safety. A classic tortoise and the hare scenario. 

Cliff kept running. Each night he came a little closer to the leading pack. By the final night, he had surpassed all of the young world-class athletes. He was the first competitor to cross the finish line and he set a new course record. The efficiency that Cliff ran has since been adopted by world class ultra-marathoners and is known as the Young – Shuffle. Still hope for us all, right!? 

A good sport is good for sports