SUMMERSIDE – Team P.E.I. members know the competition will be tough, but they are determined to do their best at the North American Indigenous Games 2014.
© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
Badminton player Hannah Arsenault of Lennox Island follows through on a shot during a recent Team P.E.I. practice at Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside. P.E.I. will have eight athletes competing in the 2014 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) in Regina from July 20 to 27.
Eight athletes, three coaches and one mission staff member will represent P.E.I. in Regina, Sask., from July 20 to 27.
“I’m pretty pumped,” said badminton player Jack Sark of Lennox Island. “It’s (competition) going to be hard, but I will try my best.”
Hannah Arsenault and Savannah Guimond, both of Lennox Island, will team up in doubles badminton. Both will also play singles while Guimond, who was named the most valuable player for badminton in Grades 8 and 9 at Hernewood Intermediate School, will also compete in mixed.
“I’m kind of nervous, but I’m going to go in there expecting to do good,” said Guimond. “I’m just going to go in there thinking positive and try my best.”
Arsenault and Guimond, both students at Westisle Composite High School, have played together since Grade 4.
“There’s only one or two years where we haven’t played together, so we have a pretty strong bond with each other,” commented Arsenault, who is hoping to compete for a medal. “We have gotten to know each other because we have been in classes together, and that has helped build our relationship.”
Arsenault was attracted to badminton through circumstances.
“I’m kind of nervous, but I’m going to go in there expecting to do good. I’m just going to go in there thinking positive and try my best.” Badminton player Savannah Guimond
“At Lennox Island we didn’t have very many kids to play any sport other than badminton,” said Arsenault. “We mainly did badminton.”
Arsenault says her game has improved a lot over the years, and she credits her Lennox Island coach Robin Enman for that growth.
“He pushed us a lot,” said Arsenault. “He knew we had the energy to do it, so that helped a lot.”
Logen Lewis of Lennox Island is returning to the wrestling mat in Regina. Lewis wrestled throughout elementary and junior high, and has gotten back into the sport this year. This will be the first competition of the year for Lewis, who will compete in -52 kilograms.
Lewis said he can’t really recall what attracted him to wrestling.
“It was another thing for me to enjoy,” said Lewis, who will enter Grade 11 at Westisle in September. “It allows me to be athletic and not staying at home being lazy all the time.”