Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Stairwell Challenge

Mindemoya’s Evan Bayer, now a Calgary high school teacher, recently posted a challenge to his phys ed classes. Evan is always one to not just, “Do as I say, but do as I do!” In Calgary, every spring they would host the Calgary Tower Stair Challenge. The tower itself is 802 steps and would be offered up to be a fundraiser. Because of the COVID restrictions that challenge has been on hiatus. Evan, never deterred, found a stairwell of just 23 steps but then filmed himself running up and down them, 35 times! He clocked himself at 7:24 and that included 35 descents as well! Keep up with the real-world and real sweat challenges, Evan.

Snow Kata!

Scrolling through social media searching for sports news I spotted an adorable video of Sensei Anya Wright, herself a second-degree black belt, performing a Kata with her daughter Aria out in the snow! For the uninitiated, Wikipedia describes a Kata as “a detailed choreographed pattern of martial arts movements made to be practiced when training as a way to memorize and perfect the movements being executed.” Aria, herself a yellow belt, has to duplicate the intricate movements of Mom as well as navigating her snowsuit and boots! Keep up the amazing training, Aria. 

No Winterfest hockey

The Little Current Lions Club regrets to announce the cancellation of its 2021 Winterfest Hockey tournament scheduled for February 5-7, 2021 due safety concerns. They hope to see you all again next year.

Wiikwemkoong Condolences

A sad week for the Wiikwemkoong community as they faced a number of sad premature deaths. The community mourns the passing of one of its “favourite sons.” Thirty-one-year-old Brandon Ominika succumbed to a long illness. Brandon had been a hockey star in the community and off the Island for many years. The love for the young man was illustrated by the flood of Facebook posts sadly discussing his journey that he experienced over his life. His legion of friends and fans both in Wiikwemkoong and off-Island painted a picture of a well-liked and respected young man. The vast number of tributes touted not only his hockey exploits but also his endearingly positive personality. The old saying that the “room lights up when he walks in” is surely true in this young gentleman’s case  

He was loved for his personality and admired for his athletic ability, especially in hockey and ball where he was a pitcher. He spent his minor hockey with the Wiikwemkoong Hawks where he was a goal-scoring wizard. Eventually he leapt to Jr. A hockey in the NOJHL. In 2008 he made the lineup of the erstwhile Manitoulin Islanders. In his first year he contributed immediately playing 42 games and acquiring 31 points including 19 goals. The following year he started like a barn on fire, notching 29 points in only the first 18 games. As the Islanders were having a tough year when the Blind River Beavers sought out his prowess. Brandon topped of that year (09-10 ) in fine style with 34 points in only 23 games that included a sparkling 22 goals. With the Islanders he was a point a game forward with 60 points in 60 games! Once he aged out he continued as a force with the senior hometown Hawks winning many a tournament championship as he and his teammates also did in fastball. Condolences go out to his large family and friends. He will be sorely missed .

Wiikwemikoong also lost a former elementary school (Pontiac) soccer star with the passing of Mary Lou Dokum at the young age of 39. Mary Lou was a fine young lady who smiled easily. A guitar player and singer, she was always ready to cheer up friends and help out in the community. Mary was the daughter of the late Felix and Frances Dokum. She was given the Anishinabe name of Giiwedi Noodin Kwe. Condolences to surviving siblings Felix Jr., Edwina, Aarin and John. Sympathies also to her life-partner Julian Wemigwans.

Mindemoya Condolences

Over in Mindemoya, the area is sadly missing a very community-minded sportsman. Ron Kenney was the type of guy that you could call up last minute to umpire a very long day of Elementary Manitoulin Championship 3-Pitch officiating. He was a longtime golfer at Brookwood Brae and Mens’ Night Golf will not be the same without him. On top of that he was a Mindemoya Curling Club member and even sat on the executive of the organization. Ron was also a big supporter of Special Olympics and gave up many valuable hours over the years. Condolences to his family and friends.

A good sport is good for sports