‘Amped up’

Send-off rally held for West Prince ath­letes head­ing to Win­nipeg

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY ERIC MCCARTHY

Kylee Wal­lace says she’s learned some things from her last Canada Sum­mer Games’ ex­pe­ri­ence that she will be tak­ing with her to Win­nipeg later this month.

“Don’t worry so much about the other ath­letes. Just worry about your­self,” she says. “You want to do bet­ter than you’ve done be­fore.”

The Cas­cumpec res­i­dent, who will com­pete in long jump and triple jump dur­ing the first week of the Games, at­tended a re­cent send-off cel­e­bra­tion hosted by the Western Re­gion Sports and Re­cre­ation Coun­cil. There are 20 ath­letes, two coaches and four mis­sion staff from the western re­gion at­tend­ing the Games.

Wal­lace will be com­pet­ing against ath­letes up to 23 years of age, the same as she did in 2013, when she was a 16-yearold at the Games in Sher­brooke, Que. She’s con­fi­dent she has a bet­ter men­tal lock on the sport this time.

“You’ve just got to keep your head in the game, and do the best that you can,” she ac­knowl­edged.

Vol­ley­ball player Ja­cob Rayner is ex­pect­ing the com­pe­ti­tion to be tough, but fig­ures P.E.I. might ben­e­fit from other teams tak­ing lit­tle P.E.I. for granted.

“We re­ally try hard,” he said. Baseball player Colin Gaudette feels P.E.I. is well pre­pared, not­ing they have beaten their Maritime coun­ter­parts.

“I’m pretty amped up,” he ad­mit­ted. “Can’t wait.”

Speak­ing dur­ing the send­off, bas­ket­ball player Gemma Shea ac­knowl­edged the role par­ents play in the young ath­letes’ pro­gres­sion.

“I know she does it all for me,” she said of her mother’s role in get­ting her to prac­tices and games. “I know it takes up a lot of her time.”

As a re­turn­ing mem­ber of Team P.E.I., Wal­lace is ex­cited to be com­pet­ing dur­ing the first week of the Games. Four years ago she got to com­pete dur­ing Week 2 and take in the clos­ing cer­e­mony. This time she will be there for the open­ing cer­e­mony.

“So that’s go­ing to be neat. I’m very ex­cited, look­ing for­ward to it,” she added.

ERIC MCCARTHY/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Western P.E.I. ath­letes at­tend­ing the Canada Games in Win­nipeg from July 28 to Aug. 13 in­clude, front row, from left, Lo­gan Cameron, bas­ket­ball; Diego LeClair, vol­ley­ball; Ja­cob Rayner, vol­ley­ball, and Mor­gan Case­ley, vol­ley­ball. Sec­ond row, Kylee Wal­lace, ath­let­ics; Gemma Shea, bas­ket­ball; Colin Gaudette, baseball; and Kar­lyn Shea, wrestling.

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