8.9 C
Niagara Falls
Saturday, May 27, 2023
Editorial: Good sports, all around
Director of skating programs Judi Boyle-Krzeczkowski, Ophelia Xie, Samantha Frydryk and Ashleen Hale and coach Darlene Dortono celebrate before they compete in the provincial competition this weekend. Evan Loree

It’s spring – finally, thankfully – and that means warmer weather.

It also means that winter sports seasons are coming to an end – and this year, as often in years past, there is plenty to celebrate on the Niagara-on-the-Lake sporting front. Here are just a few of the accomplishments of note.

Swimming is a year-round sport, of course, and as our front-page feature on 15-year-old Peyton Leigh tells you, her years of hard work and early mornings are paying off.

The elite-level competitor now has a shot at competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics in two events. She’ll swim in the Canadian team qualifiers. Whether she makes it or not, she’s already done herself and her community proud with her performance.

So, too, have figure skaters Ashleen Hale, Samantha Frydryk and Ophelia Xie. The trio, members of the NOTL Skating Club, will compete this weekend in the provincial championships in Stratford.

Hale qualified in two events while Frydryk and Xie will skate in one each. Best of luck to them all.

Wrestler Zubin Gatta, as we reported last week, won gold at the Ontario high school championships and two days later, competing at the national level, severely dislocated his elbow in his first match. As he’s already proven, at the Canada Summer Games and throughout his high school career, he’s one tough kid.

We’re confident he’ll bounce back as he prepares to join Brock University’s team next year.

It’s been a stellar year on the ice for NOTL minor hockey teams, says association president Peter Flynn. Of course, it’s about more than winning, but that said, several of NOTL’s teams have made great strides this year.

In the association’s recent March Break tourney, the U13s coached by Matthew Unruh and Steve Lidstone’s U15 team both won their divisions.

At the local league level, the U11 team is in the B division championship, U13 is playing for the A title and the U18 team will contest the C division championship.

The U11 rep Wolves were a force all season and then knocked off the top-seeded Thorold Blackhawks, earning a trip to the provincial championships being contested in Barrie. They’re also competing in the Niagara District league finals, where they’ll likely see Thorold again.

As well, NOTL’s U18 rep team, celebrated in our sports pages this week, is playing this week in the Niagara District finals but also qualified for the Ontario Minor Hockey Association championships. They’ll be travelling to Barrie also, but in the case of these 16- and 17-year-olds, for a dozen of them it will be their minor hockey swan song.

They’re ending their careers – but they picked a heckuva way to do it, by playing their way to the championship tourney.

Congratulations to all NOTL’s young athletes and best of luck in the future.

Subscribe to our mailing list