Fam­ily af­fair

Third gen­er­a­tion of McKin­nons to rep­re­sent P.E.I. at Canada Games

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JA­SON MAL­LOY

Zachary Wall will have a spe­cial piece of fam­ily and Is­land his­tory with him at the Canada Games this sum­mer in Win­nipeg.

The 17-year-old Strat­ford na­tive is a small for­ward with Team P.E.I.’s men’s bas­ket­ball squad. Mon­day, his grand­fa­ther, Bill McKin­non, gave him the Is­land flag he car­ried into the clos­ing cer­e­mony of

the 1969 Games in Dart­mouth/ Hal­i­fax, N.S., af­ter win­ning the prov­ince’s first medal at the multi-sport com­pe­ti­tion.

“It’s pretty cool. It’s a nice piece of his­tory I will be able to share with my team,” Wall said.

It’s not the first time the flag has made it back to the Games.

Wall’s fa­ther, Kris McKin­non, took it to the 1997 Games in Bran­don, Man., while Kris’ brother, Shawn, had it at the 2001 Games in Lon­don, Ont. They both played soc­cer.

Kris said his team’s man­ager, Jim MacPhee, made sure the flag was hang­ing be­hind the team’s bench each day as they played to a fifth-place fin­ish.

“It was pretty neat to be able to share that story with the rest of the team,” Kris ex­plained of the flag’s ori­gins.

“We car­ried it to ev­ery event we went to. We were wav­ing it in the stands. To have a lit­tle piece of the Team P.E.I. his­tory there with us was a lit­tle bit of good luck as well.”

Bill said he is proud to have a third gen­er­a­tion of the fam­ily com­pet­ing in the event.

“It makes you pause and re­flect,” he said, “about how good the con­cept of the Canada Games (is) with re­gard to pro­mot­ing young peo­ple be­ing ac­tive in sport.”

He added the event pro­motes na­tion­al­ism and has opened doors to ath­letes from across the coun­try to make na­tional teams.

“I give a lot of the credit to the de­vel­op­ment of the Canada Games,” he said.

Kris is go­ing to the Games this year as an as­sis­tant coach with the men’s soc­cer team. They will com­pete in the sec­ond week while his son and the hoops squad are in ac­tion dur­ing Week 1.

Kris, his wife, Tammy Wall, and their daugh­ter, Alexis, will be at­tend­ing the Games, watch­ing Zachary and his team­mates play, but also to cheer on other Is­land ath­letes and en­joy the cul­ture as­pects that come with the Games.

“It’s pretty awe­some,” Kris said. “It was a pretty big ac­com­plish­ment for (me and my brother) to go as a sec­ond gen­er­a­tion. For Zach to do his own thing in a dif­fer­ent sport and . . . now to take the flag to the Games is pretty neat for our fam­ily.”

Zachary is look­ing for­ward to play­ing the game he loves and spend­ing time with his team­mates while com­pet­ing against the best play­ers in the coun­try. The Is­land squad went to Win­nipeg last year for na­tion­als but team mem­bers know the mul­ti­sport event will make this year’s com­pe­ti­tion dif­fer­ent.

Is­land ath­letes will get a sense that they are part of some­thing big­ger than their own sport tonight when the Is­land del­e­ga­tion of more than 300 ath­letes, coaches, man­agers and mis­sion staff gather for the rally.

“To be able to take a group of 20 ath­letes and let them ex­pe­ri­ence the Games and have a chance to com­pete in a mini Olympic setup is pretty awe­some,” Kris said. “The boys are re­ally look­ing for­ward to it. They’re start­ing to re­ally un­der­stand that this is a pretty big event.”

CLEAR­ING THE RECORD

Prince Ed­ward Is­land de­feated New Brunswick 4-0 to win bronze at the Bell Aliant At­lantic un­der-14 girls’ soc­cer cham­pi­onship Sun­day at UPEI. In­cor­rect in­for­ma­tion ap­peared in Mon­day’s edi­tion of The Guardian. Keanna Ryan, Elly Dob­son, Emma Lan­g­ley and Bianca Boutilier scored for P.E.I.

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

Zachary Wall will be the third gen­er­a­tion of his fam­ily to com­pete at the Canada Games when this year’s com­pe­ti­tion be­gins later this month. From left are Wall, grand­fa­ther Bill McKin­non and fa­ther Kris McKin­non.

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