A Canada Winter Games experience


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 02/03/2015 (2943 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Spencer Lambert is a 14-year-old Transcona resident who recently participated in the Canada Winter Games in Prince George, B.C.

He took the time to talk to The Herald about himself, his sport and his Games experience:

Herald: How did the opportunity come about for you to be able to participate on the wheelchair basketball team representing Manitoba in the Canada Winter games 2015?
Spencer: Approximately two years ago I participated in camps organized by Manitoba Wheelchair Sports Association, introducing me to various wheelchair sports; basketball being one of them.
A year ago MWSA then decided to organize a team for the Canada Winter Games. They informed us that they were looking for players from the age of 14 to 24. This team was not only for players with disabilities but also able-bodied players. MWSA told us how the games are like Canada’s Olympics and we would be part of Team Manitoba. This interested me very much and I joined the wheelchair basketball team.

Herald: How did you feel when you were asked to go? Were you scared or nervous about participating?
Spencer: At first I thought it was kind of cool. I hadn’t heard about the Canada Games until we were told about this opportunity. I soon realized how big of a deal it was for young up and coming athletes. As the year of practising and preparing passed, my excitement grew.

Herald: When did you begin training, where, what sort of training was required and who were your coaches?
Spencer: We started training harder about a year ago, once the team started to form. We had our practices at the Duckworth Centre of the U of W. We also participated in two weekend clinics with National Wheelchair Basketball coaches and other camps. We had some nutrition clinics and also did some strength and conditioning at Sports for Life.
My coaches are Chantelle Horel, who had played on the last Canada Games team, and Jarrett Yaworski. They are both very devoted coaches.

Herald: Were you confident after completing your training that you could be a strong team member?
Spencer: I knew going in that I wasn’t going to be the strongest or fastest. I had the opportunity to participate in the national U19 basketball camp over five days last summer in Toronto. There I met many of the players from other provinces that would be participating in the Canada Winter Games. I saw how advanced and skillful they were. I was prepared as best I could be and was confident in the level of play I achieved in a short period of time.

What were the ages of your teammates?
Spencer: I am 14 and there were four other boys. Their ages are 14, 17, 18 and 23. There were four girls. Two are 17, the other two are 21 and 22.

Herald: When did you actually go to the Games? Who did you go with? Where did you stay? What was your typical day like?
Spencer: We departed Winnipeg early Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015. Our whole wheelchair basketball team, coaches and all of the other athletes of various sports that formed Team Manitoba, flew together on a chartered flight.
All male athletes stayed at the Days Inn at the athletes’ village. During a typical day I woke up early rolled to the dining hall for breakfast. The team would take a short bus to Duchess Park School for practice. We would return back to dining hall for lunch. During free time we’d hang out in the athletes’ village to see some entertainment or trade lapel pins. If we had time we went and cheered on Team Toba at other events. We would go back to the school and watch other basketball games or get ready for our game. After the game we would head back for supper then hang out in the athlete’s village.

Herald: Will you continue playing this sport in anticipation of participating in future games? Are there any other sports you would like to participate in?
Spencer: I hope to continue in wheelchair basketball. I have an opportunity to play in two more of the Canada Winter Games for Manitoba. I would also like to be a member of the Canadian National Jr. Wheelchair Basketball team. At this time, wheelchair basketball and sledge hockey are the only sports I can devote my time to.

Herald: Is there anyone you would like to thank? Is there anything you would like to add?
Spencer: I would like to thank my family for their support throughout the past year leading up to the games, MWSA for introducing me to the sport, the coaches for all their hard work and the team for never giving up and staying positive.

Louise Hedman is a community correspondent for Transcona.

Louise Hedman

Louise Hedman
Transcona community correspondent

Louise Hedman is a community correspondent for Transcona.

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