PEI

P.E.I.'s Canada Games athletes excited to compete

Hundreds of athletes on P.E.I. are putting in the final push before heading to Niagara for the Canada Games.

360 athletes make up Island's largest contingent yet

Coach James Voye takes a break from rugby practice Monday with players Grace McQuaid, left, and Emily McKenna. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Hundreds of athletes on P.E.I. are putting in the final push before heading to Niagara for the Canada Games.

The 360 athletes will be P.E.I.'s largest contingent yet. 

Grace McQuaid, who plays rugby and soccer, is one of 10 two-sport athletes, also a record for P.E.I.

"I had it set in my mind that I wanted to hopefully do both," she said. "I never thought about doing just one."

After a couple of years of cancellations and modified events, the athletes are excited to have a chance to compete at a national level. 

"I just hope that we can show the other provinces that we are there to play," said Emily McKenna, who plays on the 7s rugby team.

The hot weather didn't stop P.E.I.'s tennis team from practising for the Canada Games. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Tennis player Elijah Opps has been practising almost every day.

"We're the smallest province," he said. "It's going to be really tough competition, so it's going to be fun."

COVID-19 precautions

Jo-anne Wallace, P.E.I.'s chef de mission, said the team is taking precautions to avoid getting COVID-19.

"Make sure you're back into wearing masks. Make sure that you're trying to avoid large crowds. Make sure you're doing lots of hand washing. All of those kinds of things ... precautions that we're taking so that athletes will be healthy to get to the games."

As well, there will be no in-person send-off, but the athletes know they will be well supported, Wallace said.

"It's the whole camaraderie that happens and cheering for your team P.E.I. and just the skill and the talent of these youth."

The games run Aug. 6-21. P.E.I. will host the 2023 Canada Winter Games Feb. 18 to March 5.

With files from Laura Meader

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