The Alberta Winter Games are now over but two Ponoka athletes, competing in badminton, fondly remember the experience.
Badminton partners Samira Rowland and McKenzie Henderson represented Zone 4 and knew the competition was going to be tough during the games recently in Banff and Canmore.
“I was kind of scared of it because I know the Calgary and Edmonton zones were going to be strong,” explained Henderson.
“We got killed by Calgary,” Rowland recalled.
Despite the strong competition, the young athletes would hang out with their Calgary opponents and found the atmosphere to be friendly. Training continued for three days a week leading up to the competition and they found out that the Calgary team had been playing together for six years and practiced four hours a day, three days a week.
There were some highlights, though. The girls played well against Zone 5.
“I think we were just pumped because it was our first doubles game of the winter games,” said Rowland.
A match against Zone 8 went well, too with the young athletes taking their opponents to the third game in a best-of-three match. They won the third game but not without a fight, said Henderson. “We crushed them the first game 21-6. Then they beat us 25-23.”
Despite not winning a medal, both girls want to continue practising the sport and know the level of competition in the province and what is needed to win. Both athletes decided to try out for the winter games after winning at a CWAJHAA tournament last year.