New Brunswick athletes leave for Canada Games
Chef de mission says Team New Brunswick must look a 'little further than medals'
Athletes from across New Brunswick are travelling to Sherbrooke, Que., to compete in the Canada Games.
More than 415 athletes, coaches and managers from across the province will be taking part in a variety of sports including: basketball, baseball and rowing.
The games are the largest multi-sport competition for athletes in the country.
Beau Gardiner, who was leaving for the Canada Games on Thursday, said it's a big honour.
"I just want to thank my mom and my dad and my whole team, just anyone who helped me get here," she said.
"It's pretty awesome."
It's also been a lot of hard work. Gardiner has been training as a wrestler all summer long, often twice a day.
"We do a lot of mat stuff, and also running and cardio," she says.
"It's pretty intense."
Team New Brunswick's motto this year is to be a, "game changer."
In 2009, the team finished 8th overall. They won seven medals: one gold, four silver and two bronze.
Focusing on performance
Stéphane Hachey, the chef de mission of Team New Brunswick, said his goal is to help the team focus on performing their best.
"I think we have to look a little further than medals," he said.
"But we do have to look at how the team progressed from the last games. Every province is trying to do the same thing. At the end of the day it's part of the competition and the sport."
Mitchell Hazlett has wanted to play baseball since he was seven. Now the Riverview athlete will represent New Brunswick as a catcher.
"It's a lot of pressure because if any balls get by you, it's tough on the team," he said.
"We put a tremendous amount of work into this. Countless hours: hitting, pitching, throwing, working out at the gym and just working on our technique."
Team New Brunswick selected Cassidy Richards, 16, a Fredericton swimmer, to be the team's flag bearer for the opening ceremonies. The games will open on Friday at 8 p.m.
This year, 4,200 athletes from across Canada will take part in the games. They will compete in 20 different events at 20 venues.