Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Wiikwemkoong residents participated in the annual Sudbury Rocks Race Weekend which was held virtually this year.

Racism prompts NHL’s Bear to release video

Ethan Bear is one of the top defensemen on the Edmonton Oilers who were recently swept out of the NHL playoffs by the Winnipeg Jets. Even though the whole team lost all four games, many racist posts to Bear’s social media feed blamed him for one ill-timed shift change in the fourth game. Justifiably, racists are not often praised for their intelligence.

This story comes within the week that a mass grave of some 215 residential school students in Kamloops B.C. was reported. Many will assuage their guilt of this tragedy as it being only a symptom of long-past policies and racism. Really? Racism past or present is unacceptable. Us, sitting idly by thinking that thinking is long past, better give your head a shake. #everychildmatters

Marathon? Check!

The marathon sits on many people’s ‘bucket list,’ yet year after year, never ever gets to be crossed off. Gore Bay’s Harrison Noble, who has returned to running in a big way, has always wanted to complete the iconic 42.2 km (26 miles 385 yards) distance. Under the apt tutelage of coach Gerry Holliday, Harrison has been building up his endurance and speed. Several weeks ago he easily knocked off another benchmark distance, the ‘half-marathon,’ as part of his training on his path to the marathon.

Mr. Holliday developed Harrison’s training plan based on his eventual target time for the marathon. Harrison was subjected to all kinds of training techniques from speed-work repeats, long grueling distances and even some Fartlek (speed play)! Gerry was very impressed by the dedication of the young adult who manages to stick to the rigorous plan despite his busy business life.

The pair carefully mapped out the route and checked and double-checked the mileage so that he could take in as much of the lower traffic roads as possible. The big day came a couple of weeks ago and everything was set. The run started out great and his time goal was within reach but with even the best-laid plans sometimes it doesn’t work out. In the end, Harrison didn’t reach his goal but took it all in stride and still has that goal in mind for the future.

Coach Gerry was very proud of Harrison for “gutting it out” and finishing in that much discomfort of course. Olympians and other elite level athletes often have to go through this heartache. One athlete I read about said that they used to get race day anxiety and it caused him problems until he decided to change his focus. Since the race or the jump or the throw or the game is only a small part of the process it was critical that his training and race preparation take precedence in his thinking. With training often taking months or years to complete it didn’t make sense to put all the emphasis in just one tiny part of the process.

Harrison is very thankful for the experience and for his coach. “We’re lucky to have a coach like Gerry on the Island who dedicates as much time as he does to local athletes,” he said. In fact, Gerry currently has half a dozen young runners that he is helping train in the hope that actual competition may soon be allowed. Way to go, guys!

Caught exercising!

The annual Sudbury Rocks Race Weekend once again had to be a virtual event and there were several Wiikwemkoong residents participating this past Sunday.

Karlene Fox finished a half-marathon! Gerrilynn Manitowabi, now the associate director at Naandwechige-Gamig Wikwemikong Health Centre, made her health promotion part of her lifestyle after participating in the 10k run with a group of friends and family: Shannon Manitowabi, Pamela Manitowabi, Ramona Shawana, and Annie Dokum. Sarah Odjig, Sheila K. Madahbee, LeeAnn Dokum and Teresa Peltier finished a 10 km walk and Nancy Kinoshameg did the 5km!

Joanna Recollet, from Wiikwemkoong who now lives in Garson, also participated in the day and also completed the half-marathon! Congratulations to all. 

Fitness promoters and practitioners!

Hats off to fitness promoters Shannon Manitowabi and Sarah Odjig who are constantly training and encouraging others to also do so. These ladies have also spent much time and effort promoting the famous Wiky Road Race soon to be 50 years old. Running has become a popular sport and conditioning activity in Wiikwemkoong. Things have been booming since the early 1950s. Congrats to all runners!

North Bay area goalie to go high in the draft

In the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, coming soon, Corbeil (just outside of North Bay) goaltender Ben Gaudreau, who plays for the Sarnia Sting, is rated second among North American goalies for the draft. Gaudreau, helped solidify his ranking by leading Team Canada’s Under-18 team to a gold medal at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship held in Texas in early May.

A good sport is good for sports.