A complement of young Oak Bay athletes hit the slopes at provincials this weekend after enjoying sweet success on the Island.
Students learned life and leadership skills, said Oliver Longe, among the three captains of the 22-member boys ski team. It’s a sentiment echoed by other leaders.
“I’ve learned so many skills, not just my skiing ability but working with the team, leadership skills, communication and collaboration with the team,” girls ski captain Kate Andrews said.
A significant growth over the four years, is in the girls boarding realm, according to snowboard captain Colleen McKee.
This year the team boasts eight boys and a full team of five girls, a number that wavered over the years between one and two.
“It was just a strong way to finish,” McKee said. The small team size is also a benefit – building connections with younger students she might not otherwise get to know.
Boys ski captain Railay Fawkes noted the large, diverse ski and snowboard team as a whole is made up of all ages and genders, competing and improving together.
Fawkes also noted the dedication of their coach, Tim Bogle, over the four years as a key to improvement among the athletes.
That leadership is also a source of inspiration for all the captains to dedicate time, Andrews said. “I see how much time our coaches put into the team so being able to help out with that is really nice.”
None of the captains had prior racing experience before starting on the team four years ago, noted Aidan McCarthy, adding it’s an opportunity they wouldn’t otherwise have had.
“Because we live in Oak Bay, it’s hard to get to the mountain, so the team is good for giving us that opportunity,” Longe said.
The high school team heads for Golden to ski Kicking Horse Mountain Feb. 27 to March 2.
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