Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Cranked the Shield!

Crank the Shield is a three-day mountain bike, stage race north of Sault Ste. Marie and was held over the weekend. Local cycling legend, Alex Anstice from Tehkummah, has been a name to watch in elite O-Cup racing for a number of years and is still turning heads. This past weekend he competed in the epic Crank the Shield that covers some of the most scenic, yet grueling terrain the North has to offer. The three days took riders up and down the Batchewana area on day one, up and over King Mountain on day two and from Searchmont down to the Sault to the finish line.

Alex finished second in his division and fourth overall (fifth if you count that guy on an e-bike!). His total accumulated time was eleven hours and one minute, three days of three to four hours of exhaustion! Alex is a father, a farmer and still has time to help coach too. He helped out guide the youngsters with Ben and Sarah Quackenbush and the Youth Mountain Biking program at McLean’s Park this spring. Congratulations, Alex!

Ontario Indigenous Summer Games draws many Islanders

The OISG is a grand event, hosted by the Ontario Indigenous Sport and Wellness organization. It has been on hiatus for a couple of years of course but this past week in Ottawa, 500 athletes got the chance to compete and meet other Indigenous youth. Several Island athletes made the trek to Ottawa and came with unforgettable experiences.

The purpose of this year’s get together was to get athletes of different skill sets, playing on brand new teams if they were not on a team. Two Manitoulin players, Brooke Gibeault and Ava Assinewai, ended up being on the same basketball team. Their side dominated the round-robin and came up a little short in the final, taking home the silver medal. However, they played extremely well considering they met each other on the court of game one playing against some community teams that had been preparing.    

Aspen and Darcy Debassige and Zaagaasge Toulouse played in the U16 and U19 volleyball divisions. Other Manitoulin kids were Ian McCauley and Jaron Panamick for softball and Wiikwemkoong’s Jordan Cooper in basketball. Congratulations, to all participating!

Incidentally, a couple of local people are working with ISWO to help organize the games. Thanks to Hillary McGregor of Whitefish River FN and Deidre Debassige of M’Chigeeng for your contributions.

Pickleball news

The Manitoulin Pickleball Group took advantage of the great weather and added people in Little Current for Haweater festivities to promote the sport! The M.P.G. was proud to be part of the festivities on Saturday. President George Ballantyne would like to thank the many club volunteers that came out to demonstrate (by playing) what the game of pickleball is all about. All four pickleball courts saw action. While most of the emphasis was on demonstrations they had seven new players joining them on the courts. Hopefully some of them will keep on playing.

With the horse show on one side and the classic cars on the other they witnessed continuous pedestrian traffic. It turned out to be a fun time for all and they are looking forward to doing it again next year. George reminds us all that starting this Tuesday evening from (6-8 pm) and every Tuesday evening throughout August (weather permitting) the Manitoulin group will be hosting pickleball for newcomers. Please remember to wear running shoes and comfortable clothing. Bring a friend! The club will provide loaner paddles and guide you through an introduction to the game. Remember what your mother used to say, “get out of the house and go play with your friends!” See you on the pickleball/tennis courts behind the NEMI arena! For more information contact George 705 805 2385.

Caught being active!

Daxton Wabano has been putting kilometres on his shoes and his parents’ car as he has just started playing lacrosse with Sudbury being his home rink! The youngster just recently picked up the sport and has quickly moved up to being one of the top players on his U-9 Sudbury Rockhounds team. His team recently picked up bronze medals in a tournament in Gloucester last week! Keep up the practicing, Daxton!

A good sport is good for sports.