All-around athlete Ashley Holyk is set to represent the Cariboo at the BC Summer Games in Nanaimo, July 17-20.
The 13-year-old Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School student qualified for the Games at a track and field meet in Prince George in June.
Holyk is going to compete long jump and shot put.
It’s her first time at the Games, which take place every two years, and needless to say, she’s excited.
“We have an opening ceremony and a closing ceremony,” she says of the event, which is expected to draw some 3,900 participants from around the province.
“It’s going to be so big. It’s going to be cool.”
Holyk also competes in triple jump, hurdles and the 100 metre dash. Her personal bests for long jump and shot put are 4.12 metres and 8.89 metres respectively.
She wants to stretch those numbers a little further in Nanaimo.
“Everybody else there is going to be so well-trained and so good. I just want to try and compete against myself and beat my personal bests and do the best I can.”
She thanks her coaches, including PSO teacher and track and field coach Lori Meville.
With school out because of an ongoing labour dispute between teachers and the government, Holyk has practised out of town recently with teams in Prince George and Kamloops.
She actually played a bit of a mentoring role herself when her sister, Ashely, 8, competed for her first time in Price George last month.
“I would tell her about all the things I learned from my coaches,” the elder sister explains.
“She was nervous for that [track meet], but she had fun. It was pretty cute [watching her] do all the sports.”
The Summer Games feature athletes in 19 different sports.
There’s a sense of freedom connected with running and jumping, Holyk says.
“I like the rush you get. It’s fun.”