Local youngsters get to try bobsledding at Islander Day event

Eric McMurray
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SUMMERSIDE – The cold winter weather couldn’t keep Isla and Erica Krol from being just like Summerside’s Heather Moyse. 

Emma McInnis (front) and Emily MacEwen (back) race down a makeshift track in a bobsled as fellow members of the Boys and Girls Club of Summerside cheer them on. The club hosted a bobsled event outside Credit Union Place as part of Islander Day activities on Monday.

The two sisters competed together in a bobsled event, held on Islander Day by the Boys and Girls Club of Summerside to get local youngsters in the Olympic spirit.

As Moyse was preparing Monday to compete in the two-women bobsleigh event, which begins Tuesday at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, members of the club raced down a custom-made bobsleigh hill for their own competitions.

Matt Pauptit, youth program director at the Boys and Girls Club, said despite the cold weather the kids had fun.

“Considering the weather and the coldness, it was a really good turnout and we’re pretty impressed,” said Pauptit.

The temperature was about -10 degrees Celsius but felt twice as cold with the wind chill, prompting children and parents alike to bundle up for the competition.

About 30 children took part in the event at the Credit Union Place, which housed other Islander Day events hosted by the City of Summerside.

Residents could skate or swim for free, and kids under 17 got free admission to the Summerside Western Capitals’ game inside Eastlink Arena.

During the game, those in attendance were treated to a special video message from Moyse in which she thanked residents for their support.

Residents could also enjoy a free hotdog or hot chocolate outside.

As parents sipped on their hot chocolates, watching the children take turns in the makeshift bobsleigh down the hill, they discussed the Olympics.

Many had plans to watch Moyse compete on Tuesday and Wednesday while some of the children would watch at their schools.

Pautpit said the buzz surrounding the Olympics and Moyse’s competition led to the partnership between the city and the club in hosting the fun event.

“The city helped out build us the hill, and we got (the) sleds donated from Canadian Tire.”

After several runs, with each run providing a greater sense of accomplishment, the winners were declared.

The Krol sisters had taken the gold medal, having travelled a few inches past the competition to take the top spot on the podium.

Pamela Krol, their mother, was thrilled to see them go down the hill and take the gold.

“Exciting, (winning the medal) it was a good achievement.”

As the sisters celebrated with a victory hotdog and hot chocolate, complete with a big marshmallow, they were just excited to have gone sledding.

The sisters also enjoy skating, which they both have watched in the current Olympics.

Pauptit said all the kids were equally as thrilled to have gone bobsledding and support their local Olympian.

“The kids had a great time. They were all smiling. They had a lot of fun and that was the main thing.”

 

newsroom@journalpioneer.com

Organizations: Boys and Girls Club of Summerside, Credit Union Place, Canadian Tire

Geographic location: Sochi, Russia, Summerside Summerside Western

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  • Kenneth Murnaghan
    February 18, 2014 - 08:30

    It was really great to see kids out having fun in the snow on Islander day. What was even nicer to see was the fact that they were wearing helmets. I seen many kids wearing bicycle helmets, it is great they are actually wearing helmets but they need to know the right helmet to wear