Even though this community is widely recognized for its development of fine athletes, there will be just one competitor among a 250-strong team representing New Brunswick in this year’s Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta.
Sackville native Jaryd Morrissey, a Mount Allison commerce student who began playing badminton competitively at the age of 13, will represent this region in the national competition, which is scheduled to take place Feb. 15 to March 2.
More than 3,600 athletes from every corner of this nation will take part in the diverse competitions, which include everything from skating and archery to hockey and ringette over the two-week period.
In previous years Sackville has been well represented, with members of the Bob Edgett Boys Club and John Peters’ Sackville Swim Club bringing home medals.
But this time, even though there will be just one member competing in badminton, Sackville can count on making a good showing.
The 22-year old Morrissey has a golden resume in two sports, not only as an athlete but also as an academic. In badminton, he is an ACAA MVP and all-star, a two-time CCAA All-Canadian Award winner and a two-time CCAA Academic All-Canadian Award recipient. He also doubled as an AUS soccer star. Morrissey has competed at the national CCAA badminton competition three consecutive years and is looking forward to his fourth appearance. He has also reached the top of his second sport, soccer, as an academic All-Canadian.
Other honours have piled up during his five years at Mount Allison. A year ago, he was awarded the Joey’s Drover Award and has been the school’s most valuable badminton player twice. And this on a team that annually brings home the championship. And last year he also earned the Mount Allison Scholar Athlete of the Year Award.
Thus, he heads west after enjoying five years of success, in not one, but two varsity sports and the good wishes of the entire community.
The Canada Games, one of the biggest sporting events in the country are held every two years, alternating with the summer portion one year and the winter games the following.
In addition to sending 200 athletes to Alberta, there will be an additional 65 officials with chef de mission being Nicole Smith.
It’s expected this region will once again have multiple representation in future Canada Games competitions. With so many well-rounded athletes coming through the various programs it is only reasonable to expect more and more success.
Meanwhile, this 23-year-old master of the racket will give his all the make his family and friends continue to be happy and admire his many gifts.