Photo: Black Press files                                Surrey’s Dolly Gabri, a Sullivan Heights Secondary student, is among athletes competing at the 2017 Canada Summer Games, which start Friday (July 28) in Winnipeg.

Photo: Black Press files Surrey’s Dolly Gabri, a Sullivan Heights Secondary student, is among athletes competing at the 2017 Canada Summer Games, which start Friday (July 28) in Winnipeg.

Close to 50 Surrey athletes, coaches aim for Canada Games glory

Competition will take place in 16 sports against teams from Canada’s 13 provinces and territories

Surrey is well represented by athletes and coaches at the 2017 Canada Summer Games, which open in Winnipeg on Friday, July 28.

Nearly 50 Surrey-area residents are among those competing at the event as part of Team B.C., which includes 354 athletes, 52 coaches, 27 managers and technical support staff, and 22 mission staff.

Competition will take place in 16 sports against teams from Canada’s 13 provinces and territories.

The Games are held every two years, alternating between winter and summer. Gathered in Winnipeg will be close to 4,000 athletes, coaches and managers, from July 28 to Aug. 13.

Team B.C. has posted a City of Residence list on its website, teambc.org.

In athletics, the list of Games participants from Surrey includes Malcolm Borsoi, Deborah Carter (coach), Joel Della Siega, Dolly Gabri, Jacob Hanna, Jesse Hooton, Valda Kabia, Jasneet Nijjar, Chelsea Ribeiro and Melissa Semke.

Surrey-based baseball players at the Games are Tate Dearing, Lukas Frers, Daniel Gernon, Damiano Palmegiani and Liam Vulcano.

Basketball coach Matthew McKay, along with players Stefan Mihaila and Adam Paige, also represent Surrey.

Golfer Hannah Lee is in Winnipeg, as are rowers Hannah Bailey and Emily Down. Sailors include Hannah Smith and Joshua Smithman.

Surrey soccer players in action are Saje Brar, Danielle Steer, Rajan Bains, Sahil Dhindsa, Da Hyung Lee and Jorawar Saran.

Rob Warburton coaches Team B.C.’s female softball team, which includes Surrey players Cassa Courtney, Danielle de Ruiter, Jessica Fasolino, Kolby Hamilton and Daniella Vilio. On the male side, softball player Joshua Anderson and manager Sandra Atkinson are part of the team.

Surrey swimmers Aimee Brennan, Bailey Herbert, Arianna Hunsicker and Scott Pfeifer are part of Team B.C., as are wrestlers Arjot Gill and Karanpreet Gill.

Surrey’s Michael Gilray is a beach volleyball coach at the Games, with Danika Cowie, Kiera Van Ryk and Michael Dowhaniuk signed up to play indoor volleyball.

The 2017 Canada Summer Games marks the 50th anniversary of the Canada Games and coincides with Canada’s 150th birthday.

Leading Team B.C. into the Games’ opening ceremony in Winnipeg will be 17-year-old soccer player Emma Regan, of Burnaby. Regan is a full-time player with the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX Program, in partnership with BC Soccer. She has represented Canada at both the FIFA U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cup and is a straight-A student now committed to play at the University of Texas.

Regan and Team B.C.’s women’s soccer team will start the 2017 Canada Summer Games tournament on Saturday, July 29, with a game against Team Newfoundland and Labrador. Team BC are the defending gold medalists in women’s soccer, from the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Overall, Team B.C. finished third behind Ontario and Quebec at the 2013 Canada Summer Games, with 122 medals. An impressive 57 per cent of Team B.C. athletes and coaches have previously competed at the B.C. Winter or B.C. Summer Games.

Many high-level athletes have launched their athletic careers through the B.C. Games and Team B.C. At the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, 30 Team B.C. alumni were part of Team Canada. Victoria native Ryan Cochrane, a 2008 and 2012 Olympic medallist in swimming, is the honourary captain for Team B.C. for these Games, and is an alumnus of the 2005 Canada Summer Games.

“With such a strong roster of athletes from across the province, I know Team B.C. will be the team to watch at these Games,” Cochrane stated. “This is a chance for them all to show the country what they’re capable of and make their mark on sport in Canada.

“Supporting these athletes is a dedicated and outstanding group of coaches and support staff, who will be providing the leadership that is essential for success,” Cochrane continued. “For the past 50 years, athletes have been competing for glory at the Canada Games and I can already see this team is one of the best we’ve ever sent.”

The Games website is canadagames.ca.

tom.zillich@ surreynowleader.com