RANT N' ROAR - FINAL EDITION
After 18 wonderful days spent in the Niagara region for the 2022 Canada Summer Games, we want to use one more Rant N Roar Edition to reflect back on some of our favorite TeamNL Moments.
Team NL arrival into Niagara
Team NL had a busy travel day on August 5th, arriving into Niagara. While Team NL athletes had a long travel day it was a distinct privilege to be able to be the first team to arrive to Niagara on a charter flight to land directly at the Niagara District Airport, the first landing of it's kind at the regional airstrip.
2022 opening ceremonies
Team NL attended the Opening Ceremonies for the 2022 Niagara Canada Summer Games at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines August 6th starting at 8pm.
After a day spent at the athletes village at Brock University, all of the athletes were excited and proud to wear their full Team NL gear into the ceremonies.
Team NL swimmer Nathan Luscombe, from Grand-Falls Windsor, had an amazing day in the pool on Day One of the 2022 Canada Summer Games! He won a BRONZE medal in the 400 free (LC) (Multi-Class Para) with an amazing time of 4:59.86! At the Games first medal ceremony, held at Niagara Palace, Nathan was all smiles as he received his medal.
His parents, brother and sister, were lucky to be able to be at the ceremony. "Nate started swimming as a form of physical therapy. We never imagined that he would love it as much as he does. He started training with the GFW Gators and later joined the Gander Lakers. He spends many long hours at the YMCA pool training on his own. He has been supported by wonderful friends and coaches from all over NL. We are so proud of his dedication to swimming and we are so thankful he has found such a supportive community to be part of. Watching you today at the 400 free race was an amazing and emotional experience. Congrats!!" said Lynette Luscombe.
This was the first medal for Team NL at the 2022 Canada Summer Games. "It’s so exciting to be a part of the first medals awarded at the 2022 Canada Games. Nathan has worked so hard throughout his training with Team NL and I am not surprised that he was successful in winning Bronze this afternoon. It was an impressive swim where Nathan followed the plan exactly and hung in tough right to the end!," said Duffy Earle, Team NL Swim Coach.
Jaida Lee, 16-year old baseball athlete, made Canada Summer Games history as the first female to compete on a men’s baseball team.
There was a lot of buzz in the stands at the Welland Baseball Stadium as she took to the mound at the top of the fourth. Pitching for an inning and a third as she sparked a comeback for her team, despite a 17-7 defeat to Team Alberta.
After the game, Jaida was surrounded by fans and press, like, congratulating her on the historic moment.
It was an exciting evening in the pool for Day Two of the Games with six swimmers in B-finals and four other swimmers in A-finals at the Brock University-Eleanor Misener Aquatics Centre.
Nate Luscombe, our bronze medal winner in in the 400 free (LC) (multi-class Para) on day one, had lot of great swims, just missing another bronze medal based on classification.
rugby 7s wins first match
Team NL played in the debut game of Female Rugby 7’s at the Canada Games on August 8th, making Canada Games history yet again. They took on Manitoba, winning the opener 24 – 5.
The athletes were full of energy and excitement throughout the quick 14 minute game, and exerted their dominance early. They took to the pitch again that day, taking on Team QC to finish off the day's competition.
Four of the eight athletes who make up Team NL Tennis team are not only linked by the love of the sport, but also family connections. They are all first cousins, with their mothers being sisters. Teammates Aiden (19) and Liam Drover Mattinen (17) are brothers, and Julia (15) and Peter Drover-Crane (13) are sister and brother.
Basketball (Female) dominates court
BASKETBALL (Male) SEIZES TEAM WIN
Team NL Men’s Basketball had a solid team win against a young competitive Team Yukon, with a score of 94-62. All 12 team members stepped up to work as a collective unit.
Cam Stanford led the way with a double double, scoring 28 points, 13 rebounds. Teammates Mark Tobin and Mile Hann also helped out in a big way. Mark with 14 points and 5 rebounds and Mike Hann with 12pts.
Photo Credit: Larry Mathewson, Canada Games volunteer photographer.
Wresting (Male) gets match win
Team NL Male Wrestling won their first match on August 9th at Canada Games Park. Caden Stock won his match against Yukon Territory with a convincing score of 12-2 and a pin.
Female wrestlers were ready for Team Quebec
On Day Four of Canada Games competition, our seven female wrestlers were ready for Team Quebec. Despite only one win by Abby Morgan by a pin, the girls looked hungry and motivated. Hard to do against a powerhouse like Quebec but the girls did themselves proud as they took to the mats at Canada Games Park.
Coaches Peter Petipas and Leah Ferguson were very pleased with the girl’s steady improvement and progress throughout the tournament so far.
BASEBALL WINS FIRST GAME
Team NL’s baseball team got its first victory for Team NL in baseball. Players Ethan Carter and Hudson White each had two RBI, and Braedy Walsh had three hits to lead Team NL to a 9-7 win over New Brunswick at Oakes Field on August 9th.
It was another large day in the pool on Tuesday, August 9th at the Eleanor Misener Aquatics Centre. Team NL continued to make a splash at the Canada Summer Games in Niagara with swimmer Chris Weeks earning Team NL’s first gold medal of the Games.
On the heels of his success of earning a bronze medal on Tuesday, the 17-year-old from Kilbride captured the win with 50-metre butterfly with a time of 24:53 and a new Canada Games Record!
Tennis wins third straight
On August 10th at Niagara-on-the-Lake Tennis Club, Team NL won its third straight in a hard-fought victory over Team Manitoba in the qualifying round and now reach the quarterfinals in tennis.
Player Declan Walsh took his singles match with a 6-2, 6-4 victory, and Liam Drover-Mattinen cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win. Jasmine Rahman and Mia Waye battled through another third-set marathon to win in ladies doubles 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 and clinching the tie was the cousin duo of Aiden Drover-Mattinen and Peter Drover-Crane with a 7-6, 6-4 win at another hot day on the courts!!
Softball (Female) has exciting last game
Team NL played Team Nova Scotia in their placement game Wednesday evening at Southward Community Park. In a game that went back and forth, Team Nova Scotia managed to squeeze out a few runs late in the game to take it 10-7.
Team NL showed determination and the “never give up” attitude that sport brings out. It was a beautiful evening for ball and an exciting game to watch. It has been a pleasure to see the growth that this team had shown this week. Team NL places 10th.
Team Newfoundland and Labrador’s baseball team enjoyed an evening of down time before they were back on the field to play Team Prince Edward Island in their consolation game Friday, August 12th at Oakes Park.
Triathlon athletes compete in supersprint finals
Three of Team NL’s triathletes toed the line on August 8th at Welland International Flatwater Centre for the Supersprint race. Everyone put together strong efforts on the shorter course, with Heidi finishing in 18th, Grace 23rd, and Alex 27th.
Soccer (Men) battles hard
Team NL Male Soccer faced Nova Scotia on August 11th at Youngs Sportsplex in the Qualification Round. The keeper Bradon Harvey had an incredible save in the last minute of the first half.
The score at half was 0-0. The boys continued to battle hard until the last minutes with Nova Scotia scoring their first goal at the 73rd minute. The final score was 1-0 for Nova Scotia.
Beach Volleyball has bluebird day
Team NL had a bluebird day at Niagara Place for both teams to play two games a piece. In the qualifying round on August 11th, both teams dropped tough 0-2 losses against SK to determine consolation games this afternoon. Alyssa and Alex logged a 2-0 win over YT to bring our girls to a 4-1 record so far on the tournament. Mark and Isaac put in a big effort on the feature court but ended with a 0-2 score against Team Northwest Territories.
Mountain Bikers end competition at Twelve mile
Carter Stratton, Brandon Seaward, Braeden Peddle, our Mountain bike team, had their last competition of the Games on August 12th at Twelve Mile Creek.
Team Newfoundland and Labrador athletes topped their provincial medal count in the first week of competition at the 2022 Canada Summer Games making coaches, family, and fans across the province proud. Team NL swimming athletes achieved a record-breaking number of medals in the pool, one gold, five silver, and two bronze medals. Swimmers Chris Weeks, Thomas Pelley, and Nate Luscombe had amazing swimming achievements at the Eleanor Misener Aquatics Centre.
Chris Weeks, who captured Team NL’s first gold medal at the 2022 Canada Summer Games, won three medals in various male swimming events – including winning his 50-metre butterfly race with a time of 24:53 for a new Canada Games Record. Thomas Pelley won three medals in various male Special Olympics swimming events. Nate Luscombe won two medals in various para male swimming events, including a bronze medal on Day One of the 2022 Canada Summer Games, a first for Team NL.
When asked how it has felt to achieve so much success in the pool at the Canada Games in multiple races, knowing that this is a first for Team NL for Week One competition, Chris Weeks said “It feels great. I am very proud to represent our province at such a high level. It feels amazing to show off what Team NL has to offer.” His teammate, Nathan Luscombe, had much the same to say, “It is quite surreal. I feel quite proud. I get to see my hard work pay off.” And, Thomas Pelley also reiterated those feelings, saying “I feel really good. Winning medals is great for our province.”
Combined, these swimmers, have been competing for 17 years, and their discipline and athletic achievements have been recognized. “I am so very proud of the individuals for their extremely hard work over the past number of years and as well as that of their home programs. Chris Weeks has been a member of the Mount Pearl Marlins for 4 years, Thomas Pelley 7, and Nathan Luscombe has been with the Gander Lakers for 4 years as well as the Grand Falls Windsor Gators for 2 years previous to that. It takes a village, working together, to make progress like this, families, swimmers, coaches, teammates, and swim clubs. The effort goes far and beyond the Canada Games, and I expect this is just the start of fabulous swimming careers for these fine athletes,” said Coach Duffy Earle.
On August 13th, the Inaugural Pat Lechelt True Sport Award was presented at Niagara Place as part of the 2022 Canada Summer Games. Declan Walsh, a member of our tennis team, was honored as the first-ever recipient.
Week one mission staff have fun at games
Our wonderful mission staff from week one could be seen out around enjoying Niagara and many of the sports competitions. They are the people who, behind the scenes, have helped make the Canada Games happen. With over 150 athletes competing in 12 sports, they had their hands full and enjoyed late nights and early mornings. They had a great time, and it was definitely worth it because their smiles said it all. Thank you for all you did supporting our teams this past week!
August 14th was a travel day to Niagara for our Week 2 athletes, with our athletics, road cycling, diving, golf, sailing, volleyball, female soccer, and male softball athletes arriving to compete at the 2022 Canada Summer Games. It was another busy week with 143 athletes, 33 coaches and managers, and 12 mission staff in the region.
Road Cyclists train in Wainfleet
Golfers meet up with Chippewa Chippers on course
Diver competes in first artistic event
Merrick Noel opened competition on the 16th at the Etobicoke Olympian competing in the 3 metre artistic event. This was his first event. He competed well and settled in at the satellite village at Humber College. He returned to the diving board the next morning in the 3 metre.
Merrick later joined the rest of Team NL as diving moved to compete at the Brock University-Eleanor Misener Aquatics Centre.
Athletics have good day at the track
TeamNL 2-sport athlete, Grace Mack, competed in heat two of the women’s 1500 metre, achieving a 9 second personal best, breaking the U18 provincial record.
Representing Newfoundland and Labrador as part of Team NL at a Canada Games event is an accomplishment of athletic ability, skill, and determination that many athletes aspire to in their sports careers. For a lot of athletes competing at this year’s Canada Games it is their first Games, but there are a few athletes who have competed in multiple Games and are not new to competing against the best amateur athletes in the country. Athletes Zach Gosse, Teghan Byrne, Ella Mate, Mark Power, and Ava Djan-Chékar, competing with this year’s rowing team, have all been to previous Games.
Photo Credit: Nancy Boese, Canada Games photographer.
Athletics athletes earn personal bests
It was a hot and humid day at the track at Canada Games Park on August 17th, but numerous of the athletes qualified for finals on Friday, August 19th and Saturday, August 20th.
Volleyball (Female) remain undefeated
TEAMNL athletes make Niagara Children's Centre donation
In support of the 2022 Niagara Canada Summer Games chosen charity, Team NL’s athletes Grace Mack (triathlon/athletics), Brooklyn Sooley (soccer), and Derrick Ejeckam (volleyball) visited the Niagara Children’s Centre to deliver over 200 items of arts supplies such as construction paper, coloured pencils, and crayons which will be used as part of their family-centred treatment, rehabilitation and support services to assist children and youth!
Volleyball (male) players pick up another win
On August 19th, our male volleyball team started their day off getting prepped for their big game against NS. They got together for a practice session during the morning and then they reviewed video footage of previous games. The boys were both mentally and physically ready for competition.
Team NL outplayed Team Nova Scotia and came out on top with a 3-1 win! It was a great competition filled with solid blocks, powerful hits and some very excited players and fans.
It was a big day at the softball diamond on August 19th as NL was in two must-win games in order to get themselves into a medal position. Boy did they deliver. In the first game against Team Saskatchewan, Mitchell Whelan continued his superb pitching and Adrian Green hit a massive solo homer in the 6th inning to put NL on top 3-2 in a tight 2-2 contest.
In the second contest against Manitoba, NL jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning as Liam Shea continued his hot stick with a leadoff double to start the game and later scored. Marcus Pittman started and pitched his best game of the tourney. Several players had multi-hit games in the 11 - 0 win.
Our road cyclists trained for the big Criterium scheduled for August 20th. We managed to get an action shot of Head Coach Mick Cutler with all the athletes in tow (in no particular order because they were way too fast!): Leah Dalton, Isabel Martin, Amber Critch, Cole Layden and Roughan Gaetz! A friend of the Team NL road cycling team was also along for the ride, and we wish them luck as well!
Twenty-year old Team NL para-athlete Cori Hicks had an amazing day on the Canada Games Park track. She earned a SILVER medal for Team Newfoundland and Labrador in the 400m Wheelchair Female race. Cori beat her personal best by nearly three seconds, achieving a race time of 1:52.69.
Our Female Soccer Team defeated Team Yukon on Saturday, August 20th, by a score of 6-0. Goal scorers were Hannah Neville (2). Olivia Brown, Stephanie Thoms, Ellie Power, and Isabella Ryan. It was a great game for the girls!
Soccer (Female) win match today
Team NL had many memorable experiences and amazing achievements in our best overall performance at a Canada Games. Team NL waited for the Closing Ceremony to begin at Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls. Athletes, coaches and managers, and support staff gathered, took group photos, and enjoyed the backdrop of the most stunning display of nature.