From the Glasgow Games to Peru, Paris and Poland, Westman is well-represented on the world stage again this summer.
Seven athletes from Brandon and Western Manitoba will take part in major international competitions, with a handful of hockey players also poised to represent our country in international exhibition action next month as some of our best and brightest step into the sports spotlight once again. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:
• Brandon Eagles Gymnastics Centre phenom Isabela Onyshko and Brandon middle distance runner DeLohnni Nicol-Samuel are both in Scotland for the prestigious Commonwealth Games, with daily coverage on CBC. Onyshko, at the age of 16, is the youngest of the 265 athletes on the Canadian team, while the 22-year-old Nicol-Samuel is a dual citizen who will race for the Caribbean country of St. Vincent and Grenadines where his father was born. Onyshko is slated to compete in women’s gymnastics events on Monday and Tuesday, with event finals slated for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday next week. For his part, Nicol-Samuel runs in the 1,500-metre heats next Friday, with the final to follow Aug. 2, if he qualifies for it.
• Down in Lima, Peru, Brandon’s Lisa Barclay and Tabi Love — who was born in Brandon and raised in Dauphin — take to the court tonight to face the host country to open the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Grand Prix as Canada competes in this major tournament for the first time in 11 years. Barclay, 22, and Love, 23, are both outside hitters who have been starters before for the national team and could play major roles again as Canada battles Peru tonight (9 p.m., Sportsnet One), Poland on Saturday (3:30 p.m., Sportsnet One) and Belgium on Sunday (6 p.m., Sportsnet One) in the intercontinental round. The 28-team tournament will help Canada gear up for the world championship in Italy from Sept. 23 to Oct. 12.
• Overseas in France, Amanda Thornborough, 24, of Brandon is preparing for the Women’s Rugby World Cup, slated for Aug. 1-17 in Paris. Thornborough, a centre back who has already earned international caps with Canada’s sevens and 15s squads, is a proud product of the Vincent Massey Vikings and Brandon Barbarians rugby programs. Thornborough and the Canadians clash with Spain in their opening match next Friday, before battling Samoa on Aug. 5 and England on Aug. 9, prior to playoff action.
• After competing in World League action earlier this summer, 28-year-old setter Dustin Schneider — a Brandon Vincent Massey graduate — and 29-year-old left side Toon Van Lankvelt — who graduated from Neelin — are resting up for a couple more international events with the national men’s volleyball team. The Canadian squad will take part in the Pan-American Cup in Tijuana, Mexico from Aug. 9-17 prior to heading to Poland for the world championship from Aug. 30 to Sept. 21.
• Centre Ashleigh Brykaliuk, 19, of Brandon and defenceman Halli Krzyzaniak, 19, of Neepawa, will be among 42 players battling for 22 roster spots at the Hockey Canada women’s development team selection camp in Calgary from Aug. 8-17. They are trying to crack the national under-22 squad — coached by former Brandon Wheat Kings head coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk — that will face the United States U-22 team in a three-game exhibition series from Aug. 21-24.
• Goalie Kristen Campbell, 16, of Brandon, defenceman Melissa Hunt, 17, of Hartney, and right-winger Sheridan Oswald, 15, of MacGregor will try out for Canada’s under-18 women’s hockey team from Aug. 7-17 in Calgary. Forty-two players were invited, with 22 making the final cut for the national U-18 team — with Pilot Mound’s Delaney Collins serving as an assistant coach — that will face the U.S. U-18 team in a trio of exhibition games from Aug. 21-24.
• Wheat Kings right-winger Jayce Hawryluk, 18, of Roblin and Calgary Hitmen defenceman Travis Sanheim, 18, of Elkhorn will attend the 41-player Hockey Canada junior men’s development camp Aug. 3-8 in Quebec. That Canadian squad will face junior teams from Russia and the Czech Republic in a pair of exhibition games. Sanheim was selected 17th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in last month’s NHL draft, while Hawryluk was an early second-round pick — 32nd overall — by the Florida Panthers.
• Four 16-year-old Wheat King prospects will be among 96 players heading to Calgary next week to skate in Hockey Canada’s U-17 development camp, which begins Tuesday. Centres Tanner Kaspick and Ty Lewis of Brandon will be joined by centre Nolan Patrick of Winnipeg and defenceman Kale Clague of Lloydminster, Alta., at the camp, which will begin the process of identifying 66 players for Canada’s three teams that will compete in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge on Oct. 31 to Nov. 8.
(Shew’s Views returns August 22)