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Local athlete and coach prep for Canada Summer Games

Rigorous training leading up to event.

YORKTON – A local teenager is headed to Niagra in August to compete in the Canada Summer Games with Team Sask's Canoe/Kayak team.

"I'm pretty nervous, but I'd say I'm actually more excited," said 17-year-old Elia Bolme in an interview with Yorkton This Week.

Bolme said she has been kayaking since 2016, when she was 11-years-old.

"I just fell in love with the sport – I love water and I just like being out here," said Bolme.

Bolme credited her coach and family for her recent achievements.

"My family is fairly athletic – my parents both have always been really invested in me doing well in sports, and school and honestly anything that I do," said Bolme, adding, "my whole family is just really athletic."

Along with Bolme, her coach, Jessica Riley of Yorkton Canoe and Kayak Club, will also be attending the summer games, having been selected to train the young athletes for the event.

"I've been named the female coach for the team," said Riley, adding, "I get to team up with Saskatoon and Regina coaches – we have a great young group of athletes that are going."

"It's a multi-sport event, there's about 5000 people and I think 18 different sports, so it's kind of a huge competition," said Riley.

"This is my 15th year with YCKC," said Riley, "it's really cool to see how we've kind of grown our club and the kids that we have."

Riley said she is proud of Bolme's achievements.

"It's kind of cool for a Yorkton athlete to be a part of that and for me to have seen her journey."

Riley said the past two years have seen a lack of competition due to the global pandemic.

"Coming out of COVID – we haven't had a lot of competitions, so we were a little nervous going into her trials of where she would rank and she ended up ranking fourth overall."

Riley said that Bolme will go through a rigorous training routine leading up to the event.

"Next weekend she's at a training camp – we start to talk about crews and putting people together and seeing what the best fit is with everything."

"We train just about every day – unfortunately it's, of course, an outdoor sport, so it depends on the weather," said Riley, adding, "we have been fortunate – with some of our grant partners – we have a paddle machine, so on the off days we no longer have to just stop – we can still do technique and stuff like that off water."

"So, if it's storming, we can still be inside doing some things, so she doesn't lose a day," said Riley.

"She'll probably train twice a day plus there's usually running and weights and everything else mixed in," said Riley, adding that the teen will continue to coach younger athletes on top of everything else.

"I feel it's a great opportunity for her to explain what she's been learning," said Riley, "when you know what you're talking about it's easier to find it internally – like you can catch yourself a little bit more when you're telling it and you're watching it from someone else."

Riley, who started paddling in 2000, competed in the Saskatchewan Summer Games hosted in Yorkton that same year.

"Those multi-sport events are a great way to get people in – I didn't know at that age that I would be here doing these games that many years later."