Eight athletes from the South Cariboo will feature at the BC Summer Games in Cowichan from July 19 to 22.
“It’s pretty cool to go and see where other kids in the province are at,” said Kai Flett, one of the athletes said of the event. “Going on a plane all the way to the island, yeah, it’s a pretty exciting event.
Jaden Knight, Kai Flett and Hailey McNabb will be competing in athletics and Liam Edle, Quincy Archie, Jackson Hooper and Aidan Moore will be on the Cariboo-North East softball team. Canoe/kayaker Trinity Jensen will also be going to the games.
Knight, who focuses on throwing sports, got into javelin, discus and shotput from his aunt, Courtney Knight.
“His aunt was a Paralympic athlete, and so she was encouraging Jaden when he was younger to get into these sports because she to was a thrower,” said Knight’s grandmother, Margo.
Knight started when he was about nine, off and on. Due to the lack of track and field clubs in the area, the Forest Grove resident would have to go to the Royal City Track & Field Club in New Westminister, where he is coached by his aunt and other Olympic-level coaches. He also occasionally trains at the Burnaby Striders.
He has also started training with 2008 shot-putting Olympian, Dylan Armstrong in Kamloops, where Knight is looking to improve on his technique and focus.
Knight most recently competed in the 2017 North American Indigenous Games in Toronto last July, where he won two gold medals along with a silver. Archie and Jensen also competed in their respective sports.
Flett will be competing in five events, the 200 metre, 300 metre, 1200 metre, 4×100 metre relay and the 4×400 metre relay.
“I was just always fast and I wanted to excel and get better at it,” said the 15-year-old Flett on why he runs.
He trains five days a week and started running long distance and country when he was around Grade 2 and started sprinting in Grade 8.
He said his favourite 200-metre dash is his favourite event even though it may not be as fast as the 100-metre dash, it requires a lot of raw speed and consistency.
“I’m pretty confident,” he said of his chance. “Lots of my competition in Quesnel that beat me were Grade 10s and I was pretty comparable to them. Now that I’m competing against kids my age and younger I hope to kick some butt.”