By Justin Brisbane, Rocky Mountain Outlook January 29, 2015.

Canada Winter Games in Prince George logoThe Bow Valley maintains its reputation as a small but mighty producer of national level athletes, as it will send 11 athletes to the Canada Winter Games in Prince George from Feb. 13 to March 1.

The Bow Valley has athletes in five different sports, and includes several coaches as well.

Stefan Kuhn, Coach Alberta World Cup Academy

Stefan Kuhn, Coach Alberta World Cup Academy

Stefan Kuhn and Eric Groeneveld will coach Alberta’s cross-country ski contingent at the Games. Kuhn said Alberta’s team is young, but will battle for strong finishes.

“We’ll have a young team. Since it’s a U23 schedule, we won’t be the strongest, but it will be a fun team,” Kuhn said.

Canmore’s Maya MacIsaac-Jones and Ember Large will anchor the competitive girl’s team, while Peter Hicks will be a key component of the boy’s team.

“We’re excited to have the younger girls there who can compete. The boys will have to battle, but their training is going well,” Kuhn said.

The 2010 Olympian said the Games play a large role in athlete development, and are often a stepping stone for young athletes chasing spots on national and Olympic teams.

“The Canada Games are huge. I’m always shocked other countries don’t do this,” Kuhn said.

Connor Howe and Siobhan Mellors will represent Alberta in short track speed skating, and will be in the hunt for strong races. The local skating athletes had a tough road to forge in order to earn a spot at the games, as Mellors battled tonsillitis and Howe made the team despite only being 14 years old.

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