ADSS wrestlers headed to Canada Games

Ravi Manhas and Aaron Badovinac will be heading to the Canada Summer Games

PHOTO SUBMITTED Ravi Manhas, in red, during a silver-medal winning 46 kg Juvenile freestyle performance in April.

ADSS wrestlers Ravi Manhas and Aaron Badovinac will be heading to the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg in August.

The two grade 11 athletes were selected on the weekend as part of the 22-member Team BC wrestling contingent for the prestigious multi-sport Games. The Canada Games feature all the top young athletic talent in the country, many of whom will go on to represent Canada on the world stage in the years to come. They are joined by long-time head ADSS coach John McDonald, who will be one of the three coaches mentoring Team BC this year.

Manhas and Badovinac made the final cuts for Team BC at the team trials in Vancouver last weekend. The trials were the final step in a two-year-long process to select the team that will represent BC at the Games. McDonald and his fellow coaches have been busy for many months with training and competitive opportunities. Alberni was well represented in this process with a number of other local wrestlers in the pool of identified talent. These included Isaac McDonald, Seth Price, Owen Spencer and Scott Coulthart. McDonald and Price have been confirmed as alternates for Team BC, with Spencer and Coulthart likely to get the nod as well.

Team BC will now embark on a arduous training schedule that includes two tough camps in Washington and Idaho in late June and early July, followed by the entire team coming to the Alberni Summer Wrestling Camp at ADSS July 13-16. A final staging camp will be held in Vancouver in late July before the team heads to Winnipeg in early August. The wrestling completion for the 10 day Canada Games takes place August 9-11. The event is an exciting dual meet format that pits each province and territory in head-to-head, as well as individual competition. BC is a medal favourite in wrestling.

“We are extremely proud of John and all of our wrestlers who worked so hard over the past year to make Team BC,” said Alberni Wrestling President Tom McEvay. “To have that many local wrestlers in the running for the team and to have two make the team is a great accomplishment for our program. The Canada Games are a highlight for these athletes and a stepping stone in the careers.

For McEvay and McDonald the Games have great memories. McEvay coached Team BC at the Games in Quebec in 1983, and McDonald was the coach in Brandon in 1998.

It will be a busy summer for Manhas and Badovinac and many local wrestlers. Three Alberni wrestlers are off to the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto with local coach Aaron Keitlah. Morgan Dagenais, Will Merry and Jayden Iverson leave July 14 during the Alberni Camp. All of these wrestlers, and others, will be in the local elementary schools all next week doing introductory try-it sessions followed by the free Kids Camp at ADSS July 11-13.

McEvay is certain there will be more diamonds for the future in these younger recruits coming up. “That is where it all starts and it is why our motto is ‘The Tradition Continues.’ Definitely something our community should be justly proud of.”