ST. PAUL - The Alberta Winter Games, set to take place from Feb. 14 to 17 in Airdrie, will see a number of St. Paul and area athletes participate.
Austin Shtybel, a defending bronze medalist – which he earned at the last Winter Games two years ago – has been selected in the archery cadet male recurve category.
“Going back proves that my skill has improved over the couple years leading to this,” Shtybel said.
Shtybel, 14, told the Journal he got into the sport because he was “bored,” but wouldn’t be able to do any of this without the support of his family and friends.
“I’ve been going to the range to shoot a couple times to get my stamina up,” Shtybel said of how he is preparing for the games.
He adds that his first experience at the Winter Games was lots of fun because it was something he never had to do before. “I got to participate in a lot of competitions,” he said.
For the volleyball event, a total of six athletes from St. Paul and area will participate.
According to the boys’ coach, Aaron Christensen, there are three girls, Lexis Ouellette from St. Paul Regional, Sydni Fedoruk from Racette School and Rayna Jodoin from Mallaig. The three boys are Nicholas Beaudoin from St. Paul Regional, Carson Dechaine and Nolan Dechaine from Mallaig, he said.
Athletes will compete with other Zone 7 - North East division athletes.
According to Christensen, 36 athletes players tried out for the boys team in December, where 12 players were selected for the U-15 event.
“These athletes earned their positions on the team by trying out against the best players in our Zone (7 – northeast) in the U-15 age category,” Christensen said. “It is an exciting opportunity for these young athletes to play at the highest level and to compete against the best U-15 volleyball players in the province.”
The boys have been practicing for four hours each week in preparation for the games, he said.
“It’s a new experience for me so I don’t know what to expect,” Christensen said. “We are typically a weaker zone in the province, but we are playing against the best players in the province.”
Other St. Paul athletes competing include, Kyle Morais-David, Kurt Poulin, Nicholas Agnemark. The three boys will compete in the wrestling event.
The Alberta Winter Games was introduced in 1974, and since then, thousands of Alberta athletes have participated in host communities across the province. The Games provide an opportunity to celebrate young athletes, to compete and reach their athletic potential. It also provides many benefits to both the host community and to thousands of Albertans who participate at local, zone, and provincial levels.