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Sackville athletes preparing for Canada Summer Games

Swimmer, softball player, sailor among Team NB competitors


Published on July 18, 2017

Ashley Sherwood, shown above at bat, will compete in softball for Team New Brunswick at the upcoming Canada Summer Games.

©PHOTO SUBMITTED

SACKVILLE, N.B. – The Canada Summer Games are set to get under way next week and three Sackville athletes will be making the trip to Winnipeg to compete for Team New Brunswick.

Swimmer Nolan Dobbin, softball player Ashley Sherwood and sailor Annie Dysart will be participating in this year’s Games, which will be held in Winnipeg from July 28 to Aug. 13 and will feature 16 sports, more than 250 events and a major cultural festival.

“I am excited and nervous at the same time,” said Dobbin, who will be competing on Team New Brunswick’s 38-member swim team as a Special Olympics Canada athlete.

The 15-year-old Grade 11 student at Tantramar Regional High School will hit the pool in five different events throughout the week, including his favourite, the breaststroke.

Swimmer Nolan Dobbin will compete for Team New Brunswick at the upcoming Canada Summer Games.

Dobbin, who has been swimming for eight years with the Sackville Swim Club and five years with Special Olympics in Moncton, said he is honoured to have been selected for the Games, which is the largest multi-sport competition for young athletes in Canada.

Dobbin will be competing in week two of the Games, from Aug. 5-12, and is preparing for the upcoming trip this week at a training camp in Saint John.

He said his parents have always encouraged him to stay in swimming to keep active and likes that the sport is one where he can keep moving and continuously improve his times.

Dobbin said he is hoping to get to see some of the sights while in Winnipeg although admits that he has a busy week while there, competing four out of the five days of competition and then taking part in the closing ceremony before flying home that night.

It’s such a fun sport. You get to experience new conditions every day.

Annie Dysart on sailing

The Canada Summer Games will welcome more than 4,000 athletes and coaches, as well as more than 20,000 visitors, throughout the two weeks of competition. Team New Brunswick will be comprised of about 400 participants, including athletes, coaches, managers and mission staff.

Sherwood, who plays softball in Memramcook as well as on Team NB, will also take part in week two of the Games.

“I’m looking forward to the experience,” said Sherwood, who has never set foot on a plane before and is excited about traveling that far across Canada. “I’m excited.”

Sherwood, who got her start in the sport at a young age playing baseball with the Sackville Minor Baseball Association, transitioned to softball three years ago and hasn’t looked back since. The 15-year-old centre-fielder feels comfortable both at bat and playing outfield and is one of the youngest players on her U-21 team.

“I like everything about it.”

Sherwood said tryouts for the Canada Games team has actually been a two-year process and she said her Memramcook coach encouraged her to try out early on.

“I was pretty surprised I actually made it,” she said, noting her goal was simply to go out and try her best during the tryouts. She and her best friend from the Memramcook team both made the cut and so she’s duly excited to take on this experience with her by her side.

A multi-sport athlete – the Grade 10 Tantramar student also plays basketball, badminton and volleyball – Sherwood credits her older brother for her love of sports, watching him play hockey and spending hours in the yard throwing the ball around with him throughout her childhood.

Annie Dysart, right, will compete in sailing for Team New Brunswick at the upcoming Canada Summer Games.
Luka Bartulovic

Dysart also got her passion for sport at an early age, growing up in a sailing family and spending the summers on her grandfather’s boat. She joined junior sailing in Shediac at the age of seven and then started spending her summers in Halifax where she trains, and now teaches, at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.

“It’s such a fun sport,” said Dysart. “You get to experience new conditions every day.”

The 18-year-old University of Kings College student, who is currently studying marine biology and philosophy, said she will be competing in the first week of the Games in the female double-handed class with her sailing partner Lucie Ford from Moncton. The two have grown up sailing together; Dysart will serve as the “skipper” on their boat while Ford will be the “crew” on their 29er skiff.

Dysart said she’s looking forward to sailing in a location she’s never been to before – in Gimley, just outside of Winnipeg – and is excited to meet other sailors from across the country as well.

Named Female Sailor of the Year as well as Sailor of the Year by Sail NB in 2015, Dysart said she’s excited for the opportunity to bring all their training together at the Games and “just go out there and do as well as we can.”

For a detailed schedule of event, visit canadagames.ca/2017/home.