Jan 13-14 2018. BC Winter Games Playdowns boys team (Under 16). Brian Lyall (Kelowna), Zack Kuechle (2nd), Ryan Trip (3rd) (both Penticton), Matthew Lowery (skip), Jacob Martin (lead) (both Summerland)

Jan 13-14 2018. BC Winter Games Playdowns boys team (Under 16). Brian Lyall (Kelowna), Zack Kuechle (2nd), Ryan Trip (3rd) (both Penticton), Matthew Lowery (skip), Jacob Martin (lead) (both Summerland)

South Okanagan-Similkameen athletes geared up for B.C. Games

Kamloops 2018 BC Winter Games kick off this Thursday and 27 athletes from the region will compete

The Kamloops 2018 BC Winter Games kick off this Thursday and 27 athletes from the South Okanagan and Similkameen will compete among B.C.’s best emerging high performance talents.

A total of 1,229 athletes from every corner of the province will compete from Feb. 22 to 25 each representing their respective zones at the Games. Competing in 19 different sports, the athletes are an average of 14 years old and for most, this will be their first experience at a multi-sport Games. Special Olympians will compete in basketball and figure skating and athletes with a disability will compete in cross country skiing and wheelchair basketball.

South Okanagan-Similkameen participant and coaches list for Thompson-Okanagan Zone 2:

Penticton — Jaras Grant/skiing-alpine, Samantha Lawlor/skiing-alpine, Molly Raymond/skiing-alpine, Alexander Henderson/skiing-freestyle, Sasha Lovell/skiing-freestyle, Madison Boemer/snowboard, Alexandra Lovell/snowboarding, Kehler Smith/archery, Melissa Andrews/basketball-Special Olympics, Anton Evans/basketball-Special Olympics, Troy Schattenkirk/basketball-Special Olympics, Zach Kuechle/curling, Ryan Trip/curling, Jade Lowenstein/Judo, Benjamin Atherton/karate and Marcus Francisco/karate.

Kaleden — Nate Parsons/skiing-freestyle and Ethan Phillips/skiing-freestyle

Keremeos and Cawston — Marlaina Gumpert/karate and Carter Crow/archery.

Oliver — Brooke Tanner/archery and Mary Ostermeier/archery-head coach.

Osoyoos — Jacob Campol/archery.

Summerland — Angela Boerboom/archery, Matthew Lowery/curling, Jacob Martin/curling, Jaydon Davis/karate and Ethan Morf/skiing-freestyle.

The B.C. Winter Games has been the starting point for many athletes who have gone on to higher levels of sport, that includes 14 B.C. Games alumni have been named so far to Team Canada for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Games including Kamloops’s very own Josie (Spence) Morrison who will compete in long track speed skating. Other B.C. Games alumni include, Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa (ski cross), Summerland’s Justin Kripps (bobsleigh) and Whistler’s Teal Harle (freestyle skiing).

Related: Kripps wins gold in bobsleigh