Old Crow athletes persevere at arctic sports championship

It’s been a long time since athletes from Old Crow’s Chief Zzeh Gittlit School traveled to a competition outside their small northern community. At least five years, maybe 10 — no one seems too sure.

It’s been a long time since athletes from Old Crow’s Chief Zzeh Gittlit School traveled to a competition outside their small northern community. At least five years, maybe 10 — no one seems too sure.

Either way, the team from Old Crow didn’t go home empty-handed from the Yukon Arctic Sports Inter-school Championship last week in Whitehorse.

“It was definitely a big success,” said Old Crow coach Frances Ross. “They had to really come together before we left, for the fundraising and to get ready to go. When we were down there it was neat for them to see how serious and how focused the kids were for all these different sports.

“I was really impressed with them because it’s hard to put yourself out there, especially with these events. This isn’t a group that had a lot of experience with a lot of these sporting events.”

The Chief Zzeh Gittlit School, which has a student body of just over 30 kids, sent seven athletes to compete at the fifth annual event Dec. 7-9 at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre.

Two months of training leading up to the championship did not go unrewarded. Grade 6 student Dean Kapuschak won bronze in the stick pull and Grade 4 student Gavin Charlie won the fair play award for his division.

“I have one student in Grade 4, so we’re pretty limited — we really can’t qualify for most team sports,” said Ross.

“Last year we had kids trying out for Arctic Winter Games and NAIG (North American Indigenous Games) and they might have the athleticism and skill but they didn’t have the experience with those kind of events.”

“They’re already asking if they’re going again next year,” she added.

Elementary schools competed Wednesday and Thursday, while high schools competed on Friday.

With freezing temperatures across the territory, this year’s event had fewer schools compete.

“There’s a policy with the Department of Education that the communities are not allowed to travel on the roads when it’s below minus-25, so no community could make it this year,” said Gael Marchand, executive director of the hosting Yukon Aboriginal Sports Circle. “We usually have Haines Junction, Teslin, Watson Lake — nobody could come, except Old Crow because they flew.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

Overall individual results

Female grades K–2

1st Gwen Stamp (Yukon Montessori)

2nd Jayden Chisholm (Grey Mountain)

3rd Zoe Belz (Grey Mountain)

Male grades K–2

1st John Chisholm (Emilie Tremblay)

2nd Wynn Thompson (Emilie Tremblay)

3rd Torin Grossinger (Grey Mountain)

Female grades 3–4

1st Jaiden Curteau (Whitehorse Elementary)

2nd Olivia Vanael (Yukon Montessori)

3rd Atlin Potvin (Whitehorse Elementary)

Male grades 3–4

1st Simon Connell (Emilie Tremblay)

2nd Gabriel Racina (Emilie Tremblay)

3rd Rapheal Langlois (Emilie Tremblay)

Female grades 5–7

1st Maude Molgat (Emilie Tremblay)

2nd Kate Mason (Whitehorse Elementary)

3rd Kate Koepke (Yukon Montessori)

Male grades 5–7

1st Felix Mason (Emilie Tremblay)

2nd Luke Cozens (Yukon Montessori)

3rd Conner Henderson (Golden Horn)

Female grades 8–9

1st Veronica Porter (F.H. Collins)

2nd Reyanna Gaba (Vanier)

3rd Katrina Pozza (Vanier)

Male grades 8–9

1st Sam Mather (F.H. Collins)

2nd David Ma (F.H. Collins)

3rd Alexander Schultz (n/a)

Female grades 10–12

1st Fayne O’Donovan (Vanier)

2nd Reena Coyne (F.H. Collins)

3rd Robyn Poulter (F.H. Collins)

Male grades 10–12

1st Austin Hayduck (F.H. Collins)

2nd Josh West (Vanier)

3rd Jackie Lam (F.H. Collins)

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