WOW! Congratulations to our 13 Border Blades who competed at the 2018 Alberta Winter Games hosted by Wood Buffalo! We are so proud of Jayva A, Madison B, Ysabelle B, Connie E, Lance G, Kaylee K, Leander L, Zachary N, Erika P, Erika S, Rebecca S, Ashford S, and Gabe W for representing the Border Blades.
Also a huge Thank You to our coaches and chaperones, Bill and Jacquie! We sure appreciated all the Facebook posts keeping us up to date.
Special mention to Jayva A, Madison B, and Erika P on taking home bronze in the relay! See the Meridian Booster post here:
by Jamie Harkins, February 26, 2018.
Winning a medal at the Wood Buffalo 2018 Alberta Winter Games rides the handlebars to the incredible experience of participating at the multi-sport event for a few Lloydminster Border Blades speed skaters.
Jayva Andersen, Madison Burrell and Erika Pollard captured a bronze medal in the 2,000-metre short track relay for Zone 7 and the Border Blades at the Feb. 16 to 19 Alberta Winter Games.
The girls competed in roughly 12 races over the course of three days to reach the podium with their final meet last Monday morning deciding the colour they’d bring home.
“It was very nerve wracking for the race,” said Burrell, 12, a Grade 7 student at St. Thomas Elementary School.
“Once the race started we had one fall on the first corner. Right after that fall I think that we were able to get ourselves back in the race and finish the race off good.”
The girls didn’t find out they had won a medal until their coach came into the change room afterwards to inform them of their accomplishment.
“At first I was a bit shocked,” noted Burrell. “Then I had a big smile on my face and we all hugged onto each other.”
Pollard, 13, said they trained as a relay team during a special Games’ practice each Sunday morning.
She said that extra work led to the team making it through the tough competition in the Games’ semifinals on good communication and solid passes.
“Before our passes weren’t as good because we kept missing a bit,” said Pollard, a Grade 7 student at Bishop Lloyd Middle School. “But, after a few practices we got our passes nice and good.”
Pollard noted their three days at the Winter Games began with a 5 a.m. wakeup call before being bussed to a cafeteria for breakfast.
She said they took a 45-minute bus ride from there to the Fort McKay Arena for races with another long bus ride back for supper and finally to their sleeping quarters at a local school awaiting them at the end of the day.
“We slept in a gym and they provided little gym mats,” said Burrell, noting the Games’ crew provided curtains to separate the teams. “We just slept there and the lights were out around 9:30-10:30 p.m. every night.”
Pollard said entertainment at the mini athletes’ village included a dance as well as a cookie decorating session.
She said they didn’t get a chance to see any other sports due to their busy schedule, but that doesn’t diminish the great experience they enjoyed.
The girls were back at a Border Blades practice three days after the Games ended in an attempt to get ready for a club competition in Calgary this weekend.
Burrell said it’s an unknown whether the Games’ bronze medal win will give them an edge with the Border Blades, but the victory does give them something to remain proud about.
“It feels pretty good,” added Pollard. “I guess it boosts our confidence so that we can skate better races and give it our all.”