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M A G A Z I N E

ISSUE 1

VOLUME 1

|

WINTER 2010

A Measure of True Character Lukas Sutter handles a tough year | Pg. 3

Keep Rolling Local bowler aims true | Pg. 6

Olympian Ideas Jim Steacy offers strength training advice | Pg. 13


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Welcome

From Travis Grindle To all those with an interest in sport in southwest Alberta and to those looking to achieve their athletic potential, welcome to the first edition of this magazine. Southwest Alberta has a long and deep sport history.

Table of Contents

Recognizing and celebrating these accomplishments and triumphs is vital to community spirit. We are hoping that ACHIEVE Magazine is a vehicle to further

A True Measure of Character

celebrate these successes.

LUKAS SUTTER

The goal of ACHIEVE Magazine is to showcase emerging athletes from around our region who have the ability, passion and will to perform at peak levels and to inspire others to strive for their maximum athletic potential. In addition to celebrating the success of these athletes, we hope you will learn more about

Keep Rolling

the Alberta Sport Development Centre and other key stakeholders and individuals who help to lead, support and develop the athletes, teams and coaches of

cody smith

southwest Alberta. ACHIEVE Magazine is only possible because of the funding provided to the Alberta Sport Development Centre Southwest through the Alberta Sport Recre-

Willing, Just Not Able

ation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation. We truly appreciate the gracious support of the advertisers within the magazine and all those that contributed to the

Kayla Hauck and Shaelin Westerson

content and compilation of this issue. We sincerely hope you enjoy the stories, features and articles found within the pages of ACHIEVE Magazine and that they inspire you or others around you, to support the emerging athletes of our region or achieve your own athletic potential. We hope you enjoy this issue of ACHIEVE Magazine as much as we enjoyed creating it and look forward to sharing more of our sport stories in future issues. Sincerely, Travis Grindle Executive Director Alberta Sport Development Centre Southwest 3rd floor, Old Courthouse 1010- 4thAve S, Lethbridge, AB, T1J 0P5 Ph; 403-320-5271 info@asdcsw.ca www.asdcsw.ca

PG. 10

A Special Effort

PG. 13

Olympian Ideas

PG. 15

Brooke’s Torch Run

PG. 10

Improving Through Co-operation and Competition

John Ondrus

JIM Steacy

brooke french

colton garner and connor emigh


Editorial Info ISSUE 1

M A G A Z I N E

VOLUME 1

FALL/WINTER 2010

Published twice a year, Winter/ Summer, by the Alberta Sport Development Centre Southwest Š Copyright ACHIEVE Magazine 2010 Contents may not be redistributed or republished without written permission of the ASDC Southwest or the authors

ACHIEVE Magazine is a project co-ordinated by the Alberta Sport Development Centre Southwest. The Alberta Sport Development Centre Southwest was established in the fall of 2008 after almost two years of planning and discussions by the Lethbridge Sports Bid Committee and Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation. The Centre finally opened in November of 2008 and offered its first programming in

Publication Coordinator:

January of 2010. Since then, the fledgling Centre has serviced hundreds of local

Travis Grindle

athletes, parents and coaches.

Magazine Committee:

The Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation established a network

Shawn Pinder, Dylan Purcell, Dawn Berry

of Alberta Sport Development Centres (ASDC) across the province, opening the first Centre in Red Deer in 2000. Since then, the Province has grown the Network to

Designer:

seven total Centres spanning all corners of the province.

Stephenie Karsten The main purpose of the ASDC network is to coordinate and enhance services With special thanks to:

available to Alberta’s emerging athletes and coaches. These regional centres provide

Jim Steacy, Trevor Kenney,

services to athletes and coaches residing in rural and urban areas allowing athletes

David Wells, Tara Grindle, Glen Berry,

to develop and train at a high level without leaving home.

Lethbridge Herald The ASDC Network supports the idea of a holistic training approach in order for Printed by:

athletes to reach their optimal athletic potential. By combining sport science ap-

University of Lethbridge Print Services

plications with support from experts in areas such as nutrition, sport psychology and injury prevention, the centre helps coaches, parents and athletes build an ideal environment for enhanced athletic development and performance. Each ASDC Centre is unique in its operation and co-ordination. This allows the Centres to best reflect the needs of their area and help co-ordinate the required programs to service the emerging elite athletes of their region. Collectively, the Centres carry a united passion and provincial mandate to support and coordinate the development of our emerging athletes and coaches. For more information, visit our website at www.asdcsw.ca or the Network website at www.asdc.ca.

Alberta Sport Development Centre Southwest 3rd flr, Old Courthouse 1010-4th Ave S, Lethbridge, Alberta T0L0V0 info@asdcsw.ca www.asdcsw.ca


A True Measure of Character By TREVOR KENNEY

Canadian Under-17 team in April 2009,

to get the range of motion back,” says

Sutter dislocated his shoulder when he

Sutter. “It was just baby steps for the

The true measure of any elite athlete

was pinned up against the boards, his

longest time, trying to get that strength

cannot be made when times are good,

right arm trapped on the dasher as he

back.”

instead it must be taken during times of

went down to the ice. He was told the in-

adversity. Only then do you get a glimpse

jury could be rehabilitated and given the

It was a solitary battle he faced, away

of the character that lurks beneath the

opportunity that awaited him (a chance

from teammates, spending hours in the

surface.

to play in an overseas tournament in Ger-

gym as he concentrated on perform-

many) he worked hard to get back on the

ing the simplest of tasks. But as much

ice. He’d play 20 more games and get a

as it was a personal fight for Sutter, he

chance to play at the world level but on

didn’t have to face it alone, thanks to

Aug. 21, the shoulder went out again,

his involvement with the Alberta Sport

and this time, no amount of rehab would

Development Centre Southwest.

For Lukas Sutter, the road to professional hockey appeared to be a smooth ride, paved in part by the Sutter legacy and his own unique understanding of the game as well as the sacrifices needed to take it to the ultimate level. In a matter of seconds, one awkward hit changed everything, throwing a huge speed bump in Sutter’s path and testing him like he’d never been before. Competing at the tryout camp for the

be enough. Instead, a surgeon’s knife to repair a torn labrum was the only answer, followed by four-plus months of intensive rehab. Only in January did he finally get back on the ice.

“The biggest thing was maintaining my focus and having a goal in mind,” says Sutter. “I had to set a goal and then push towards that date. It was hard, especially towards the end when I felt like I was

“It’s been a long haul, going to rehab ev-

ready to go. Having something to strive

ery day, working on little things like trying

for made it easier.”

3


“With ASDC I’ve learned that preparation starts a month before you even step on the ice.”

While his family played a huge part in the

Grasping that lesson served him well

recovery process, the ASDC had a role

through the long recovery process. A

to play as well, giving Sutter a perspec-

2008 second-round pick of the Western

tive he’d never experienced before.

Hockey League’s Saskatoon Blades, Sutter had to forego fall training camp and

“Coming in I thought I knew a lot about

and accept what they have to say. A new

essentially give up on what might have

how to succeed in sport, but I’ve been

voice is sometimes more productive.”

been a first season at the major junior

exposed to so much at ASDC that it’s been a huge learning curve,” he says.

It didn’t hurt that many of the themes he discussed with sport psych coach Jen-

regaining his health and dedicating himself to the Lethbridge Y’s Men Hurricanes of

His father, Rich Sutter, is one of the six

nifer Spriddle echoed the teachings of his

Sutter brothers to play in the National

father, but to hear it presented by a new

Hockey League. The sons are now mak-

voice helped the messages resonate

“I was named captain but I couldn’t be

ing inroads to professional hockey and

even more.

there and be a part of the team,” says

Lukas grew up surrounded by insights very few kids could ever expect to ex-

“My dad has always stressed preparation

perience. Still, he knew that his father’s

and for me that has always meant game-

voice wasn’t absolute and was deter-

day preparation, coming to the rink

mined to use ASDC for all it could offer.

prepared to play the game,” says Sutter. “With ASDC I’ve learned that preparation

the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League.

Sutter. “Even if I could go in the room, you can only say so much because words only go so far. I know you have to go out on the ice and prove it and I wasn’t able to do that.”

“The adjustment has been hard at times

starts a month before you even step on

At various times he’d have a workout

but you have to open your mind,” he

the ice. You have to begin to become

partner (fellow hockey player Jonathon

says. “You can’t be close-minded and

mentally focused long before the actual

Zdan is also a part of ASDC and he’s been

focus on what you think is right, you

competition.”

rehabbing a broken neck) but for hours

have to listen to what other people feel

4

level. Instead, his focus had to be on

on end, Sutter simply had his thoughts as


he tried to get his body back in shape. He

“For me, I just want to get my feet back

in comparison to the 35 or 40 games I

again called on the lessons taught by his

under me and start finding some success

would get in college hockey.”

dad and backed up by ASDC.

with the team,” he says. “I really think we

“He’s big on mental preparation and

have a team that can push for a national

He also still eyes a shot at playing for

championship.”

Canada at a future World Junior Cham-

having Jennifer (Spriddle) there with me,

pionship. Right now, it’s about mak-

she knows so much about that aspect of

Not yet signed with Saskatoon, Sut-

ing the most of the time he has left in

sport. He had always preached visualiza-

ter still has a decision to make. Having

Lethbridge.

tion and with me not being able to play, it

been born in St. Louis while his father

was something I could really use to help

was playing for the Blues, he holds dual

“My cousins have all had to move away

me prepare to come back.”

citizenship and actually represented the

from home and it’s not anything major for

United States (not an IIHF sanctioned

me, it’s the path to pro hockey and that’s

Sutter returned to the Y’s Men Hurricanes’

event) while playing in Germany. He’s had

my ultimate goal,” Sutter says.

lineup Jan. 9 in Calgary, helping the Hur-

offers to play college hockey in the U.S.

ricanes to a 4-1 victory over the Calgary

but is leaning toward staying in Canada.

Northstars. He’s determined to get back in playing shape and help his club

“I think the better fit is in Saskatoon,”

advance deep into the Midget AAA post-

he says. “I have nothing against college

season, knowing it is his last opportunity

hockey but after only playing 10 regular

to play hockey at home. The future, now

season games this year, I think I’ll need

that he’s healthy, is up to him.

to play a 70-game schedule (in the WHL)

Given the test of will and character he just passed, it’s a goal we can only assume he’s poised to achieve.

Lethbridge is a leading centre for sport and athlete development, and competition.

integrity inclusiveness personal growth and development cooperation advocacy a positive image for sport Check us out online: www.lethbridgesportcouncil.ca susan.eymann@lethbridgesportcouncil.ca Or drop us a line: 403-320-5412


Keep Rolling Local bowler aims true By Dave Wells Bowling is one of the most popular games in the world. Each year many millions of folks hit the lanes for entertainment purposes. However, a significant percentage of regular participants around the globe see bowling as a sport. They work to improve and win. Ask Cody Smith whether bowling is a game or sport in his life and you receive an immediate, firm reaction. “It’s sport and competition,” says Smith. “I don’t consider it a game for me. I’ve played it long enough I want to be the best at it.”

Smith, who is just shy of his 18th birthday, is a 5-pin bowler. And he has been for the majority of his life. “I’ve been at it for 11 years.” Really, that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Bowling is often a family affair and he comes from a clan steeped in 5-pin tradition. Dad Mele Smith and mom Helena Smith are long-time active rollers. In fact, they play in leagues with Cody today. Helena’s dad John Rempel puts a truly elite stamp on the pedigree. He’s one of the most successful 5-pinners this area has ever produced.

As with all sports there are costs involved with bowling. Cody is currently in three leagues. Tournaments and open bowling for practice are also an expense. He absolutely appreciates parental support in this regard. “I wouldn’t be playing so much without them.” Smith has enjoyed plenty of competitive bowling success over the years making numerous trips to provincial championships. In 2006 he earned a Alberta Winter Games silver medal in doubles. Smith, who stands around five-foot-10 and weighs in at about 150 pounds, has


a career single game high of 369 and has fashioned an 845 three-game series. His top five-game tournament average is 265. It clearly appears 2009-10 is a breakout campaign. Before this season Smith’s best annual league average was “220 I think.” As of mid-January, his top league norm this time around stood at 247. For a youth bowler that’s lofty indeed. It holds up well with top-drawer adults, too. Smith asserts his Alberta Sport Development Centre Southwest involvement is key to his recent, rather dramatic, improvement. “I’m happy with the Athlete Enhancement Program. It can help me to do even more.” The AEP has multiple components. Smith feels one is especially suited to his sport-specific needs. “They teach you mental skills. Those skills are huge in bowling.” Smith utilizes a variety of mentors when it comes to bowling technique and stategy. “I don’t have one specific coach, but I have a lot of people who can tell me things.” Smith is a right-hander and uses a threestep approach. He’s certainly not afraid to experiment with different lines of attack, having employed straight, hook and back-up ball paths. He’s obviously a fixture at Lethbridge’s Holiday Bowl which is currently situated at 2825 2nd Ave., South. “I was at Holiday even when it was in the Sandman (mall).”

However, Smith is familiar with area curling venues, too. Very familiar. “I started the same year I started bowling. I’ve played every position.” Smith has been part of many successful rinks. He’s qualified for Southerns in Bantam, Juvenile and Junior age-group competitions, plus curls for the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute school program. Smith acknowledges that he’s been told by many people that competitive curling and bowling do not often mix (turning your wrist both directions for in-turns and out-turns on a curling sheet, definitely a no-no in a bowling event.) That doesn’t seem to bother him in the least. However, Smith’s clear about which sport he prefers.

“Bowling for sure. Bowling’s a more individual thing. I’m more of an individual player.” Smith is in Grade 12 at LCI. He’s not yet sure of postsecondary education or work career paths. “Taking a year off school next year to figure out what I really want to do.” He is sure about his long-term 5-pin bowling goals. “I want to play provincial level with adults and I want to play as long as I can.” Some kids have hoop dreams. Others have bowling dreams. Cody Smith is working to make his sporting quest a reality.

7


Willing, Just Not Able Injuries hamper results for AEP athletes. For Kayla Hauck and Shaelin Westerson the 2009/10 skating season has been a true test of their will to compete. For both athletes, promising seasons have been hampered with serious injuries that interrupted training programs and postponed competitions. “It’s really frustrating,” says 12-year-old Kayla. “I was quite excited coming out of Sectionals and was looking forward to the rest of the year.” Kayla finished fifth overall at sectionals, competing as a Pre-Novice for the first time. The fifth-place finish was an excellent start to a promising season, but a foot injury sidetracked her progress. The nag-

ging injury is now about 90 per cent healed and Kayla is already working towards next season.

The road to full recovery will be long for Shaelin, but she is determined to come back stronger and better.

“I have higher expectations now already and just hope to build on this year” said the Father Leonard Van Tighem student.

“I love to compete. I just fell in love with it,” says Shaelin “The early practices, the competitions, it’s part of my routine now.”

It was much of the same for thirteen yearold Shaelin. Competing in her first PreNovice Ladies Sectional, Shaelin finished with a very positive 29th out of over 50 competitors.

For Kayla, the drive to compete and continue to develop also stems from her love of the sport.

“Things were going really good until I got hurt,” said Shaelin, who suffered a cut to her calf muscle during an evening practice. “I was progressing nicely and really enjoying the season until then.”

“I’m just so passionate about figure skating,” stated Kayla. “I like to be challenged.” So the injury is just a small bump in the road, just another challenge that will be overcome.

Jennifer Spriddle REGISTERED PSYCHOLOGIST

PH: 403-381-6000 | FAX: 403-381-0229 239 - 12B StREET NORTH L ethbridge , A B T 1 H 2 K 8

“Providing sport psychology expertise to all levels of athletes by teaching the skills necessary for peak performance in sport and in life.”

COUNSELLING, TRAINGING, CONSULTING


A Special Effort While his athletes were being put through the paces at the University of Lethbridge, John Ondrus was watching. With years of experience volunteering for Special Olympics, Ondrus has learned a lot — but he’s taught much, much more. The Alberta Sport Development Centre– Southwest hosted a group of Special Olympics athletes in early December, offering strength training and nutrition seminars. Ondrus, a veteran coach with Special Olympics Lethbridge, didn’t learn anything new, but he did get a valuable reminder that his athletes need to stay hydrated, healthy and — more importantly — engaged. Because his experience has taught him one thing for sure — it isn’t always about the final goal for his athletes. “I think it was good for them to have a program that forces them to eat right,” said Ondrus, who coaches five-pin bowlers at the Holiday Bowl in Lethbridge. “You know, they each got a booklet that they have to keep track of exercise, their eating and if they don’t do it, they’re held accountable.” Holding athletes accountable has been Ondrus’ philosophy for years, whether as a long-time minor hockey referee or as a coach in the Youth Bowling Council or with Special Olympics. He got into Special Olympics through his YBC coaching and an inability to say ‘no.’ “There’s a sucker born every minute,” he laughed. “And none of them ever die, so here I am. “Honestly, it’s been my pleasure to help out wherever I can with this stuff, and bowling is a bit of a natural for me because it’s a sport I enjoy and my family enjoys.” With two kids in YBC, he started out helping Special Olympics athletes as part of a then-integrated program. Lillian Blair, the director of the local Special Olympics

10

Herald photo by Ian Martens. Special Olympian James Chang, who has competed nationally and internationally in swimming, gets some help from program facilitator Jim Steacy while learning weight lifting techniques on the weekend at the University of Lethbridge.

program at the time, pulled him in. After a break of almost 10 years, John came back in a few years ago and hasn’t looked back.

changed his focus from bowling to powerlifting, but struggled in his early days with bowling.

“It’s a great program. I’ve seen it change these kids like night and day,” said John. “You look at when they come in and they don’t talk to anyone, they don’t socialize sometimes at all. “But once you start coaching them and they have to talk to you, and they have to talk to the other coaches and there are all these other bowlers around, they start to really come out.”

“He had never spent a minute away from his mother, before coming to a YBCSpecial Olympics bowling championship in Lethbdge, said John. “And we had him for four days sleeping on mats at the Hamilton school gym.

Ondrus points to several former athletes he’s coached who came into the program as shy wallflowers, who have left with a new confidence. One of those athletes

“There was some crying and whining at first, but you know what, by the end of it, he had become so much more independent. Now I see him and he’s lifting weights, he’s in great shape and he’s competing still, as far as I know.”


That turnaround emphasizes the importance of Special Olympics, something recognized by the Alberta Sport Development Centre. “Certainly, we try to reach out to many diverse athletes,” said Travis Grindle, ASDCSouthwest Executive Director. “It’s obvious when you see the athletes involved in our Athlete Enhancement Program, but getting involved with Special Olympics is just another way for us to meet our mandate.” John said helping Special Olympians goes beyond coaching. “It’s more than coaching but you can’t be a babysitter,” he said. “You’ve got, a lot of times, kids who haven’t had to fend for themselves. They’ve been cared for to an extent that doesn’t work when you’ve got to oversee 100 bowlers. So as a coach, you make them accountable and they respond to that. The sport gives a lot of the kids a way to be held responsible for things like stay-

ing in shape, paying attention to the coach, doing your stretches and things like that.” With a variety of levels of disability, John said coaches and programs need to be flexible. “Like when we were at the university with (ASDC program facilitator) Jim Steacy. He shows the kids how to lift properly and they tested them. but one of the kids was absolutely, no way going to run.” It didn’t take long for Steacy, an Canadian Olympic hammer thrower, to get the athlete running. Ondrus said once he got going, he had fun. But the results aren’t always what’s important in Special Olympics. The motto for the organization is “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” It rings true for Ondrus. “I’ve seen some of these athletes for years, and no matter how many times they stretch or run, they stay in the same shape,” he said.

“But you look at other things, like the way they started out without any routine. Some of these kids are all of a sudden talking your ear off when they used to just sit there. “It isn’t always winning and losing at the game.” Ondrus guaranteed that when his contingent of athletes heads to London, Ont. in July, Lethbridge and area can be proud of them, no matter the result. “I always tell them, you play to win, you play to get better,” said Ondrus. “But there won’t be any tears if my guys lose. “The only tears you’ll see will be tears of joy.”

Dylan Purcell is the sports editor at The Lethbridge Herald and is the newspaper’s representative on the Alberta Sports Development Centre – Southwest board of directors.

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LETH


HIGHPERFORMANCETRAINING Elite Training for Emerging Athletes Training area PE157

Shawn Stead, Manager - High Performance Training

403-380-1898 shawn.stead@uleth.ca

SUPPORTING THE ALBERTA SPORT DEVELOPMENT CENTER – SW “Showcasing emerging athletes from around our region who have the ability, passion and will to perform at peak levels and to inspire others to strive for their maximum athletic potential.”


Olympian Ideas Jim Steacy offers strength training advice

One of the services that the Alberta Sport Development Centre Southwest provides is high-performance, sport specific, strength and conditioning training. Strength training has been a vital part of the training regimens of athletes for many, many years and it has been proven time and again that implementing a strength and conditioning routine as a part of the athlete’s training program will greatly improve their performance. Two of the main ways taking part in strength training will positively affect an athlete and their results are by improved performance and decreasing the chance of injury. When an individual lifts weights as part of a strength and conditioning program they will see improvements in the following areas: increase in muscle size and tone, increased muscular strength, and increases in tendon, bone and ligament strength. All of which are vital components in how the human body moves and therefore, how an athlete moves on the field of play. The stronger the muscles, ligaments and tendons are for an athlete, the better he/she will be able to perform. Improved flexibility is another area of performance improvement through participating in a strength program. By working the muscles through a full range of motion, weight training can improve your overall body flexibility. Increased flexibility reduces the risk of muscle pulls and back pain which is very important when practicing and competing in sport. Limiting your chances of getting hurt during practice or when competing is another major benefit of a strength training program. Strong muscles, tendons, and ligaments are less likely to give way under stress and are less

13


The stronger the muscles, ligaments and tendons are for an athlete, the better he/she will be able to perform. more or less often per week or by training for longer or shorter periods of time. (see variety) Variety - Variety challenges your muscles and forces them to adapt with increased size and strength. This can be achieved by switching around your workout routine, varying your workouts by changing exercises, the rep scheme or your training volume. Progressive overload – By gradually increasing your weights forces your muscles to grow stronger and larger. Rest – It is vital to rest between sets. If your goal is muscle size or endurance, rest for 30-60 seconds minimum. If you want muscle strength, allow up to 2-4 minutes between sets. likely to be injured. This will be espe-

Type of lift - you need to tailor your

cially beneficial in sports where there are

workout to address specific body areas.

tendencies to twist or land/plant/push off

For example, if you want bigger and

from awkward positions such as soccer,

stronger arms, you need to use exercises

basketball, hockey and even curling

that target those particular muscles.

(when pushing out of the hack). Weight

and grow after a workout. A good rule of thumb is to rest the muscle group for at least 48 hours to allow sufficient recovery time.

training also increases bone density and

Intensity – Intensity is the amount of

strength which is a big positive for con-

effort exerted. There are a number of

tact sports such as hockey and football.

ways to increase the intensity, including

For more information on a High

limiting rest times, super set, rest-pause

Performance Training program to suit

ratio, etc.

your training needs, contact Jim Steacy

When starting a strength training program, the following variables

14

Recovery – Muscle needs time to repair

need to be taken into account in

Volume – Volume is the quantity of your

order to have a useful program to

workouts or duration. You can increase

follow:

or decrease the volume by either training

at the Alberta Sport Development Centre at 403-320-5271 or check out their website at www.asdcsw.com


Brooke’s Torch Run For athlete Brooke French, the

Brooke filled out her applica-

opportunity to participate in

tion online through RBC. She

the 2010 Vancouver Olympic

believes her volunteer com-

Torch relay was an “absolutely

mitments to helping create

amazing experience”. In almost

a unique lunch program at

spring-like conditions, the local

Lakie Middle School and Oprah

triathlete, runner and basketball

Winfrey’s Leadership Academy

player from Winston Churchill

for Girls helped her secure the

High School got to carry the

opportunity.

official flame for 300m along a crowded street in Coalhurst on

A member of the ASDC’s

January 17th.

Athlete Enhancement Program, Brooke had an outstanding

The Olympics are a big thing

2009 athletic season, winning

for me,” says French. “Taking

the City Championships in

part in the run was one of the

Cross Country and the Provin-

best things I’ve ever done.”

cial Triathlon Championships for the 14-15 year-old age

The 14 year-old was awestruck

category.

by the event and says looking into the flame while she ran with the torch was inspiring.

15


Improving Through Co-operation and Competition By Dave Wells

bridge products. Both took up football in elementary school and have been

Lethbridge Collegiate Institute Grade 11s

involved ever since.

Colton Garner and Connor Emigh have plenty of on-field football experience

Garner stands six-foot-one and weighs

working co-operatively towards common

190 pounds. He has played a variety of

goals. Since Garner plays quarterback

sports competitively over the years in-

for the Rams and Emigh is his centre, a

cluding basketball, lacrosse and archery,

symbiotic collaboration is vitally important

but is down to one now.

to each individual’s performance and “I dropped the rest to focus on football.

team success.

My goal is to play post-secondary footFrankly, Garner’s safety is enhanced by

Garner and Emigh are now working

ball – definitely. My desire is to move on

Emigh’s execution, too.

together off the gridiron, too, through

as a quarterback.”

the Alberta Sport Development Centre “We have to be almost best friends,” says

Southwest’s Athlete Enhancement Pro-

Emigh, who stands six-foot-two and

Emigh. “If I let a guy through, he gets hit and

gram. They are often paired as training

weighs 260-270 pound range, is keeping

if he messes up, it makes me look bad.”

partners. However, in this environment,

more elite sporting options open. On the

bragging rights become an important

football field he plays defensive tackle,

motivating factor.

too. The large-yet-nimble athlete also

“I know I have to work hard to be the best”

excels in wrestling and rugby. “He’s my centre and he’s one of my good buddies,” says Garner. “But, it’s competi-

In fact, he’s already made a Canada-

tive between us too. We try to put a little

wide impact in the mat game. Emigh,

competition in there to help us get better.”

a member of the LCI wrestling team, finished fourth in his age-group’s 120-kilo

Both Green-and-Gold-clad lads are Leth-

16


Photo graphy b y Glen Berry Pho ne | 403 329 8589 | bengun@ te lu s .n et

(264 pounds) class at nationals last year.

Emigh’s athletic ambitions are supported

Southwest provides. Even though Emigh

by his parents as well. Both Jamie Varley

is involved in wrestling during the winter

Emigh plays prop in rugby for LCI and

and Kari Rathgeber were high school

he enthusiastically notes the additional

the Lethbridge Rugby Club. Provincial

performers who passed the passion on.

training is a valuable bonus.

Garner considers “staying focused on what

Garner just turned 17, while Emigh

I want to be as a player” to be a strength.

attains that age in March. Both aspire

and national rugby powerbrokers are well aware of his potential. At this point Emigh is not willing to tip his

to stay involved in high-level sports for

hand regarding which sport he will ulti-

Physical strength – which he is work-

many years to come. While Emigh states

mately choose. But he has a crystal clear

ing to improve regardless – is already

professional athletics are a goal, Garner

ambition to reach the heights in athletics.

quite reasonable for Garner’s desired

is already looking towards another ulti-

quarterback position. However, he freely

mate seemingly-related career path.

“My goal is to become a professional

acknowledges a need to develop more

athlete in one of my sports and to repre-

foot speed.

“I’m interested in being a physio therapist.”

sports,” firmly says Emigh. “I have mo-

“I was a pretty big kid growing up. I want

In the short term, both are competing

tivation. I think I’m just naturally athletic.

to become a better athlete all-round, but

hard against one-another training to

That’s what some people tell me. But, I

speed’s the key.”

improve their cooperative performance

sent Canada at some point in one of my

know I have to work hard to be the best.”

next football season and their individual Emigh is looking at improving in both areas.

athletic performance for many a year.

Garner’s parents are Mark and Sue. His dad was a high school athlete who loves sports passionately.

“My strength mostly, my speed a little.” Both are investing a great deal of time in

“I grew up with sports,” says Garner.

their athletic pursuits, leaving as little as

“I’ve always enjoyed them.”

possible to chance. They clearly appreciate the multi-faceted opportunity ASDC

17


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