Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Yana Bauer and sons Dylan and Ryan Kuntsi in the last hour of 24 hour martial arts marathon.

Family has ‘epic’, martial arts experience!

Congratulations to Yana Bauer and her sons Dylan and Ryan Kuntsi who recently participated in the worldwide, 24 Hours of Martial Arts Marathon this past Saturday and Sunday. Looking for an epic adventure to break the monotony of the day to day reality of their COVID experience, the family learned of this unique opportunity through their local dojo, the Manitoulin School of Martial Arts (MSMA). 

The event was monumental for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the technical challenge of coordinating martial arts masters of many disciplines all around the world to offer one of four sessions every hour for 24 hours! Ms. Bauer was absolutely in awe of the level of expertise that she had the privilege of learning from. Ahead of the marathon participants signed up for one of four workshops offered in the first hour at 8 am Saturday morning and then choosing from four different sessions in each of the successive 23 hours!

Yana recalled teachers from India, France, Australia, North America and a special teaching treat from Japan among others. From Japan they were honoured to train with Tadanora Nobetsu who is from the International Organization of Martial Arts. The 86-year-old master is a 9th degree black belt Dan and to top it off, he teaches in the Goju Ryu style that the family learns through the MSMA. So when Mr. Nobetsu led the hundreds of people through a Kata it felt like home.

The trio, however, were surprised that they enjoyed learning so much from other schools of the martial arts world. They did Brazilian Jujitsu and Katana sword work among many other through the day and night. Thanks to local wood wizard Bill Sawyer, the martial artists had custom-made wooden replica swords to train with. Broom sticks were repurposed into bo staffs and Ryan made them nunchucks out of paper towel tubes and duct tape.

The boys made it until 4 am before crashing but their mother made it through the whole 24 hour duration. Ryan and Dylan, however, were refreshed early Sunday morning and got up for the last couple of sessions. Yana was prepared for the utter physical exhaustion but was surprised that the mental aspect was just as taxing. She realized this was likely a one-time experience and was so thankful for all the learning to be had she mad e real effort to retain as much information as possible. Congratulations!

Blast from the past, the slot, the point, etc!

David Harrison, a longtime NOJHL (Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League) follower and writer recently sent me a super comprehensive list of stats for the Manitoulin Wild and Islander teams from 2003 until 2010. When I say comprehensive how about records such as: most single season assists on opening goals? It was Brandon Ingraham in the 2006 – 2007 season with six, for your information. Most insurance goals? Eldon Cheechoo in 2004-05 with three. Most assists on insurance goals? Kenny May with four in 2003-04! 

It was interesting to go through all of those names and fondly recall some entertaining characters, games and the harmonizing effect that the teams had on the Manitoulin community. It was also great to see a few home-grown names that popped up in key categories. 

Brent Assinewai, in recent years, has been the go-to ringer for sportsmen teams on the Island and around the province but back in the 2000s he was lighting up the goal-lamp at the NEMI Recreation Centre and all the rinks along the NOJHL trail. When he played for the Wild in 2003 – 2004 he had a banner year and locked up the following records: Most goals, 31; most assists, 39; most points, 70; and even more! Aundeck Omni Kaning’s Arron Assinewai also figures into a few in that year with the most short-handed goals with four. Most overtime winners. Most assists on the road, shorthanded goals on the road, etc!

There were a few dubious stats for the teams such as longest losing streak on the road (2007-08 with 24) and most goals against in a single game (13 by the Sudbury Junior Wolves on January 31, 2007 in Copper Cliff). There were other such stats for players like ‘most penalty minutes’ that have coaches sometimes pulling out their hair. One local was far up the list, Brandon Ominika in 7th with 111! 

Caught exercising!

It was last year that I reported on the amazing endurance of Kagawong runner Heather Theijsmeijer who was participating in the Canada Run Streak with an impressive streak then who has now completed 437 consecutive daily runs of at least a mile! Yana Bauer who was also racking up the days had since been sidelined by knee surgery. Not one to sit idle, she went for a run the minute she got the go-ahead from her doctor. Yana is now back up to 223 days already. Way to go you two!

Golf instruction ready for local schools

Good news for students in Wiikwemkoong! Rainbow Ridge has adopted Wiikwemkoong Schools to offer the Golf in Schools program and recently presented Wasse Abin Pontiac and Junior Schools with tool kits and curriculum to introduce golf to every child! The Golf in Schools Program is transitioning over the next few years into the First Tee program.

Youth Ball cancelled once again!

Greg Lockeyer had to make the sad announcement once again this year. “It is with extreme disappointment that the Annual Mindemoya Youth Ball Tournament at the end of June will be cancelled due to the COVID pandemic.  We had measures in place to offer a smaller version of the tourney, in a safe manner, however, safety for everyone is the priority.  Hopefully next year the 350 youth from ages 4 to 18 can enjoy this wonderful event. Stay safe everyone.”

A good sport is good for sports.