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Three King’s badminton team members have been selected to represent their home provinces at the 2019 Canada Winter Games next month in Alberta. Sam White and Bryce Mason will suit up for Team Nova Scotia, and Sam Lawther will join Team Prince Edward Island for the national competition February 15 – March 3 in Red Deer.
“I feel honoured,” said Mason, a second-year student studying chemistry and French. He’s looking forward to stepping onto the national stage for the first time, calling it a huge achievement and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“King’s has provided me with an excellent facility to train in and learn from two excellent coaches [Coach Ryan McIntosh and Assistant Coach Spencer Armsworthy],” said Mason, who was named King’s Male College Rookie of the Year last spring. “Playing [for] King’s has also provided me the experience of playing with a team […] and with different people, similar to what I will experience at the Canada Games.”
P.E.I.’s Sam Lawther, King’s reigning Female Athlete of the Year, is returning to the Canada Games after competing in squash in 2015. “I’m really humbled and proud to be able to represent my province at the Canada Games for the second time.”
This time, Lawther, who is wrapping up a double major in psychology and French, will compete in the women’s doubles, mixed doubles and team event. She hopes her previous experience at the national level and hard work will help her team. “Being the oldest on a fairly young team, I hope I can act in a leadership role.”
White is also in a similar situation. The fourth-year business management student has made several appearances at national events before but is happy to get back to the Canada Games after just missing the cut last year. “It feels incredible,” he said. “It’s like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I was edged out [of the] last games in a very tight race, but I came back with more experience and was more specific with my training in order to lock in my spot.”
White, who was one of two young men to be named King’s Male Athlete of the Year last year, was only motivated by the omission in 2018.
For King’s Athletics, having three players named to the Canada Games is a testament they are doing something right. “When things like this happen it definitely is an affirmation that things are going right,” said Neil Hooper, Director of Athletics at King’s. “Coaching provides expertise and training but motivating them to be their best is so necessary for things like this to happen.”
With that said, Hooper is not at all surprised these three are being recognized for their skill. “Knowing all three and watching them play over the years has been a great experience for all us but getting an opportunity like this is second to none and we are so proud of their accomplishments.”
The 2019 Canada Winter Games is the 27th edition of the Canada Games and will welcome over 3,600 athletes who will compete across 19 sports and 150 different events.