Olympic dreams start at the grassroots level

They’re pretty fascinating, the Olympics, aren’t they? Canadians are staying up until the wee hours or getting up at ungodly times to watch the best athletes we have to offer compete – some in sports we follow on a daily basis, and some in sports we forget even exist for years at a time.

These heroes, though, come from towns just like ours.

Take Denny Morrison, who has won a silver and a bronze in speedskating. He hails from Fort St. John, right here in B.C. Or hockey players Dan Hamhuis and Carey Price, who got their starts in Smithers and Williams Lake, respectively. (Price lived in Anahim Lake, but his dad bought a plane and flew him to Williams Lake for games. Naturally.) The next heroes could come from Duncan, Chemainus, Cobble Hill or Lake Cowichan. It could be as soon as next month, when Braydon Luscombe skis in the Paralympics. Or it could be years down the road.

Either way, they need the community’s support.

The kids who play at Evans Park or the Cowichan Sportsplex or the Island Savings Centre, some of them have big dreams. Some of them don’t. Either way, what they’re doing is great for them as individuals, great for the community, and great for our country.

So next time you complain about your tax dollars going to an arena you don’t use, or a baseball diamond that goes a few months without seeing action, think about the Denny Morrisons and Braydon Luscombes. If you at all enjoy watching what they’re doing on TV, it’s because their communities provided the facilities they needed.

And it doesn’t stop there. Support KidSport -which has a very active chapter here in the Cowichan Valley – or stuff your Canadian Tire money into the Jumpstart box. Don’t deny someone the chance to be the next Patrick Chan or Meghan Agosta just because their family doesn’t have the means.

You’re not just giving them a chance to play, you might be giving us all a reason to cheer.

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