Manitoulin Golf crowns mixed tournament champions

Track and field held for first time since 2019

The Island Elementary Track and Field Championships were held over two days last week in CC McLean in Gore Bay for the first time since 2019! After the long COVID break, kids were super eager to get out there and try to be: “faster, higher, stronger – together”! After being rained out on the Tuesday the festivities were pushed back to last Thursday and Friday with, thankfully, great weather.

The focus of this annual event is the team aspect, of course. Everyone can have an impact on the aggregate tallies if they can add even a point to their school total. With that being said, there were a couple of individual results that should be recognized because they both broke long-standing, Island records.

Ethan Ense (Lakeview) launched a shot-put 9.87 metres, breaking Ferris Eshkawkogan’s record (9.64m, Wasse Abin) from back in 2014! Jack Bridgeman put together a perfect meet with four firsts but in the high jump, he not only won, he beat a 17-year-old height set by Sammy Trimmer (152 cm, Assigniack 2005). Jack’s top-mark of 158cm was great but he was regularly clearing 160+cm in training!

In the age group medal winners I will start with the up-and-comers. In the nine-year-old girls’ category Breeze Osawamick (Wasse Abin) had a perfect 12 points, Sydney Cunningham (LCPS) was second and Ella King (LCPS) and Sarah Joyce (CCM) ties with six points apiece. Boston Abotossaway (LCPS) led the boys, Evander Shawana (WA) was second and Simon Fessenden (LCPS), third.

In the 10-year-old girls, Rylee Williamson (CCM), 1st, Nova Debassige (CMPS) 2nd and Lilly Beaudry (WA) and Myla Edralin (LCPS) tied for third with seven points each. David Joyce (CCM) was a point shy of perfect with his 11 points, Finn Flanagan (CCM), Casey Bowerman (LCPS) was third. 

The 11-year-old class was graced with a perfect score of 12 for Assiginack’s Arabella Ostosquaiob. Corie Brown (CMPS) tied for silver with CC McLean’s Brynn Best. Tying for bronze were Joey Ruyter (CCM) and Rowyn Kasunich (Lakeview). Ryan Carter and Roen Deschenes both of Little Current P.S. had near-perfect 11s. Kobe Mayers (Wasse Abin) was second with classmate Koda Peltier took the bronze.

In the 12-year-old girls’ category Charmaine Webkamigad (LCPS) had the same 11 point tally as Lakeview’s Lourdes Taukei. Damara Wassegijig (Lakeview) earned silver and Samantha Mackenzie took the bronze. The aforementioned Jack Bridgeman from Mindemoya won the gold and his classmate, Jonah Balfe took silver with 10 points and Landen Maloney (LCPS) had 9 for third.

In the 13-plus girls’ division CMPS’s Myah Balfe had a perfect 12 points for gold. Fia Flanagan (CCM) amassed 11 points for silver. The bronze medal position was deadlocked with Ava Corbiere (CMPS) and Madison McCarville (APS) each receiving seven points. Ethan Witty (CCM) was the top body with 10 points, Kohyn Eshkawkogan (LCPS) won silver and Gore Bay’s Wyatt Williamson-Wright took home bronze.

Thanks to the many teachers and parent volunteers who made the event happen without a hitch. Thanks especially to Bruce Lindsay and Dan Smith who put in extra hours in making sure things were perfect.

Caught being active!

I had heard that the Canadian Commuter Challenge was going to take place last week. With the great weather we have been having, I was down to zero reasons why I should not bike to work. At only seven kilometers into Mindemoya from Big Lake it wasn’t a big deal and I biked every day. On Friday, when I arrived at the school I saw Grade 5 student Aiden MacFarlane already sitting at the crosswalk!

He had told me for a couple of days that he was going to do it and although I encouraged him, in the back of my mind, I just figured it was unlikely. He would have to take his heavy mountain bike along gravel roads and the highway for nearly 15 km, double what I do on a proper road bike. On top of that, there would be the waking up earlier, eating and getting his lunch ready.

Often teased because of his diminutive stature, the small but mighty Aiden thought nothing of it and arrived at 7:30! Just 11 years old, he had made himself breakfast, having been up since 6 am, made his lunch and hit the road. He said that he had some problems with his bike but just the same difficulties he always had. When I checked his bike I noticed that his gear cables were so tight he wasn’t able to change gears!

Congratulations, Aiden and all of the other kids out there who are getting more use out of  their bikes than popping wheelies and jumping over their friends! If you are one of those energetic individuals or know someone who is, send me details to and I can feature them here.

Interestingly, the Commuter Challenge kept track of participants’ fuel savings and the amount of CO2 not put into the atmosphere. For just my five-day tally of 72.5km, the algorithm calculated that I saved seven litres of fuel and prevented 15 kilograms of CO2 exhausted into the air. It was the mass of CO2 that struck me. That is 33 pounds of greenhouse gas I had been spewing out every week. Wow, scary!

A good sport is good for sports!