Desirae Ridenour, who won three gold medals at the 2017 Canada Summer Games, is in Australia for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. (Team BC photo)

Valley athletes head to Commonwealth Games

Local connections for Canadians in triathlon, rugby and swimming

Sports fans in the Cowichan Valley will have plenty of locally developed athletes to cheer for at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

At least four athletes with local connections will be representing Canada at the Games in Gold Coast, Australia, that begin on April 4.

First up is Cowichan Bay triathlete Desirae Ridenour, who will compete in the individual race on April 5 and the mixed team relay on April 7. The 2017 graduate of Cowichan Secondary School, who now attends UVic, won gold medals in the individual, women’s relay and mixed relay events at last year’s Canada Summer Games, and has multiple podium finishes in international competition.

Another Cowichan Secondary grad, Duncan’s Pat Kay, will play for Canada in rugby sevens. A four-year member of the national sevens team, Kay helped Canada to its first win on the World Rugby Sevens Series in Singapore last April.

Also competing in rugby sevens is Hannah Darling, who graduated from Shawnigan Lake School in 2014. Darling, who calls Peterborough, Ont. home, was a member of the Canadian team that won bronze at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and gold at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

The men’s and women’s rubgy sevens tournaments will be held on April 13-15.

Ladysmith swimmer Faith Knelson, who previously attended Queen of Angels School, will race in two events: the 50m breaststroke on April 6 and 100m breaststroke on April 7.

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