February 7th, 2011 | by admin

Prince George, BC – Prince George athletes travelling to compete at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Nova Scotia will shed their competitive gear and collect clothing donations to the After Hours Drop-in Centre, announced Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Shirley Bond. Dubbed “Hands Across the Country”, a first-time initiative is mobilizing the goodwill that Team BC members feel as participants in a national event, and recognizes the needs in their home communities. Prince George Team BC athletes, coaches and mission staff donated more than 40 pieces of clothing such items as gloves, scarves, jackets and toques, some of which will be taken to Halifax and other items that will stay in the communities where the more than 350 athletes and coaches reside. />

“We are excited about the exceptional group of athletes that will be representing us as part of Team BC at the 2011 Canada Winter Games,” said Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount. “Not only will they do their best in competition, they are also doing that with this unique initiative to share mittens and warm clothing with those who need them most. This is a first time project that will bring benefit both here in BC and in Halifax. I want to wish our team success as they compete and thank them for this special act of giving.” Prince George has a strong track record of producing talented athletes, several of whom are Team BC alumni. At this upcoming Games, Prince George has three athletes with competition experience from representing Team BC at the 2007 Canada Winter Games – Sarah Pousette (Long Track Speed Skating) and Avril Harris (Wheelchair Basketball) and Matt Neumann (Biathlon 2007, Cross-Country Skiing 2011). Other alumni include biathlete Megan Tandy who competed for Team BC at the 2007 Canada Winter Games and represented Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in her home province. Other Team BC alumni from Prince George include Kenny Lally (2007 Canada Winter Games, Boxing) and Garett Simm (2003 Canada Winter Games, freestyle skiing). Today, Team BC members from the north are happy to provide a ‘hand’ to the Prince George Métis Community Association, the hosts of an After Hours Drop In Centre for the homeless and street involved people in Prince George. The After Hours Drop-In Centre provides safe surroundings for some 70 people each night who have nowhere else to go during our Prince George’s longer, cold nights from October through February each winter with a 4 member staff, plus a Food Coordinator. The Drop-In Centre is open from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am Wednesday through Sunday. The centre does not provide lodging, however they watch videos, play cards, do crafts, and give people in our community a friendly ear when they have to speak to someone. “With this kind donation,we can continue to offer warmth and kindness to those in need while dramatically reducing crime rates in and around the Prince George downtown core. We thank you from the bottom of our Hearts for thinking of us and providing this clothing to our After Hours Drop-In Centre” said Patrick Pocha, Prince George Métis Community Association. Team BC will bring a dedicated team of 260 athletes, 75 coaches, three National Artists and 17 mission staff to compete in 20 sports at the Games. The Games will bring together approximately 2,700 athletes, coaches, managers and officials with participation from every province and territory in Canada. “Halifax 2011 will provide our Northern athletes with a tremendous amount of experience and will leave so many lasting legacies,” said Mayor Dan Rogers. “We are grateful to be the next in line to host the nation in 2015 and showcase our tremendous hospitality and community spirit”. The Canada Games is a national multi-sport Games competition that brings together the best athletes from each Canadian province and territory. The primary objective of the Games and the Games movement is national and provincial sport development of Canadian youth. The Games provide the stimulus for Canadian youth to reach their athletic potential, pursue personal excellence and develop socially and culturally within the context of ethical competition. Northern members of Team BC Biathlon Aaron Neumann (Athlete – Prince George), Allie Dickson (Athlete – Burns Lake), Arthur Roots (Athlete – Prince George), Pierre Beaudry (Team Manager – Prince George), Robbie Martin (Athlete – Prince George), Sarah Beaudry (Athlete – Prince George) Judo Ali Briggs (Athlete – 100 Mile House), Aline Strasdin (Coach – Prince George), Bruce Kamstra (Coach – Prince George) Alpine Skiing Alix Wells (Athlete – Prince George) Wheelchair Basketball Avril Harris (Athlete – Prince George) Speed Skating – Long Track Braedon Clouthier (Athlete – Dawson Creek), Sarah Pousette (Athlete – Prince George), Phillip Shrimpton (Athlete – Prince George), Keith Gordon (Team Manager – Fort St. James) Men’s Hockey Brent Arsenault (Coach – Prince George), Brett Harris (Athlete – 108 Mile House), Josh Connolly (Athlete – Prince George) Para-Alpine Calab Brousseau (Athlete – Smithers) Speed Skating – Short Track Jamie MacDonald (Athlete – Fort St. James), Mitch Kupchanko (Athlete – Fort St. John), Tim Hempsall (Athlete – Prince George) Women’s Hockey Julia Flinton (Athlete – Williams Lake) Badminton Lisa Davison (Team Manager – Prince George) Cross-Country Skiing Matt Neumann (Athlete – Prince George) Archery – Ladies Compound Sydney Watson (Athlete – Quesnel) Figure Skating Gail Weber (Team Manager – Fort St. John) Mission Staff Kristen Harrott (Prince George) FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jan Mansfield Kristen Harrott Team BC Communications Manager Team BC Mission Staff 604-719-3828; General Manager, PacificSport Northern BC 250-960-5346,

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