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Living life by the sports calendar

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Lifelong hockey fan James Allum, MLA for Fort Garry-Riverview, enjoying the annual 4 on 4 hockey tournament held at Riverview Community Centre in February 2012.

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Lifelong hockey fan James Allum, MLA for Fort Garry-Riverview, enjoying the annual 4 on 4 hockey tournament held at Riverview Community Centre in February 2012. Photo Store

When I was growing up, my life was defined by the rhythms of the sports calendar: hockey, baseball, football and golf.

Those who know me can attest that not much has changed. I still lace up my blades every winter with my "old-timer" hockey team, and playing golf with my buddies remains one of my favourite pastimes.

But I was always an ordinary player — the very opposite of those who have both the talent and commitment to become great athletes. Some of those talented and hardworking athletes are from right here in Fort Garry-Riverview.

This year was only Alice Sherwin’s second time running the Manitoba Marathon. But the new teacher and Fort Garry-Riverview resident said she drew inspiration from her young students to win the race. Bravo, Alice!

Before Evan Gill and Thomas Miles were players to watch in the University of Manitoba Bisons, they played for another team — the Churchill Bulldogs. Evan and Thomas are both graduates of the excellent football program at Collège Churchill High School. During that time, these young athletes helped their team secure both a football and a hockey championship for their school. My son Donovan played with them on that hockey team. Thomas and Evan were not only great players but great leaders, too. They made us very proud this year when both were drafted to play in the CFL.

Wildwood Park neighbours — and former Olympic champions — Doreen Botterill and Marc Albert volunteered at the Wildwood Park Community Club Winter Carnival last February, celebrating an "Olympic-Style Winter Wonderland." Doreen and Marc shared their experiences as Olympic athletes. Doreen competed as a speed skater in the 1964 and 1968 Olympics, while Marc played volleyball for Team Canada in 1992. Who knows what budding future athlete will someday point to that talk as an inspiration?

There are many other athletes in Fort Garry-Riverview. Congratulations to them all, including our own Canoe and Kayak Club’s world-champion dragon boat team, to Ted Bigelow who has been Chef de Mission for Manitoba at numerous Canada Games, and last but not least to my colleague Rob Altemeyer, the MLA for Wolseley and former Riverview resident. Rob is currently playing in the World Ultimate Frisbee Championships in Italy.

I hope all my friends and neighbours continue curling, shooting hoops, or running marathons for a long time yet to come.  

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