Vermette excited to be Team MB flagbearer
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This article was published 04/08/2022 (229 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
by CASSIDY DANKOCHIK
Team Manitoba’s flag-bearer has high goals for the Canada Games in Niagara. Erika Vermette was officially announced as the province’s opening ceremonies flag-bearer at a news conference held at the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame on July 26.
The fourth-year University of British Columbia volleyball player will be focused on going far in the beach volleyball tournament, while juggling the duties of being a flag-bearer.
“I’m really looking forward to what the Canada Games has to offer on and off the court,” Vermette, whose hometown is Morris, said.
“Especially in getting to know the other Manitoba athletes and go and support them at their games and cheer them on, bridging connections with athletes from other provinces, and most of all, competing in a high level competition.”
In addition to carrying the flag and being the face of Manitoba during the opening ceremonies, Vermette also spoke at the news conference, will be leading some team activities, and will get to mingle with flagbearers from other provinces.
“(I’m) definitely getting out of my comfort zone,” Vermette said, laughing.
“It’s a good experience, and teaching me a lot.”
After the ceremonies end, there are still games to be played, and Vermette said she’s shooting for a podium spot alongside teammate Valeria Gonzalez (Universite de Saint-Boniface). Many high-level competitions and tournaments have been cancelled due to COVID-19, and Vermette said she’s eager to get back playing.
“I think all the athletes are really eager to go, because training everyday without competition has been pretty draining,” she said.
“Definitely looking forward to that aspect.”
Vermette has represented Canada world championships and the Youth and Junior Olympics for beach volleyball.
“Those events have really taught me the maturity of an athlete, and what it takes to compete at that high level,” she said
“Those are opportunities I sought out once I knew I loved beach.”
Beach volleyball has teams of two players compete on a sand surface in shorter sets than regular volleyball. Vermette said she remembers watching her parents play, and from that moment, she was hooked.
“It’s a really good escape from me from the rest of my life,” she said.
“I really like the environment around it as well. There’s music playing, and you’re outside, but you can still be super intense and competitive.”
Vermette is one of over a dozen athletes who will be competing in Niagara who are from southeast Manitoba.
Vermette said she wanted to thank Volleyball Manitoba for giving youth like her the chance to try and excel in beach volleyball, extending specific thanks to coaches Wanda Guenette and Chloe Reimer.
The Canada Games opening ceremony will be held Aug. 6.