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Champions Among Us

 

 
Many of our readers already know that I am fond of paddling and rowing sports. The technique of these athletes, the great outdoors, the magnificent crafts –dragon boats, rowing shells, outrigger canoes- and the waters they glide on… what else can I say? There is so much to love about these sports!  As the summer winds down, I was amazed to discover how many people actually went to Telford Lake this summer to view some of these water sports events, through sheer curiosity or a keen interest in one of these sports…
Well, this weekend will see the return of a hugely popular event, ROW FOR KIDS in the City of Leduc. This Saturday September 8, the Stollery Hospital will partner with PCL and the ERC (Edmonton Rowing Club) to host this event on Telford Lake, a venue they are very familiar with. Having experienced the excitement and fun of this rowing event fueled by the competitive spirit of these corporate teams, I can tell you this will be a fun race day. If you have never been, don’t hesitate to bring the kids and the dog (on a leash of course), and come join the fun!
Recently, the Pipestone Flyer covered the Prairies Championships on Telford Lake, a high-profile rowing event, where we encountered and interviewed future Olympians. Well, at the recent 130th Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in Ontario, the Allan twins of Edmonton (who graciously posed for me and articulately described their passion for the sport), James and Gregor won gold in the under-17 Men’s Double with a time of 6:59.43, over 8 seconds ahead of the competition! Congratulations, James and Gregor! Hope we’ll see you back on Leduc waters again in the next rowing seasons… preparing for Summer Olympics, perhaps?
Talking about champions, there is a group in the City of Leduc that accomplishes every day something that many of us wouldn’t think of tackling: the integration and contribution of ‘developmentally-challenged’ adults into the workforce.  A mission of giant proportions, it requires from the daily contributors (care providers, trainers, program coordinators) heart, stamina and devotion. LINX CONNECT is staffed by some pretty amazing individuals who, as I have witnessed first-hand, are fueled by a strong desire to ‘make a difference”. Yes, this is an expression I favor, as I borrowed it from the great and inspiring Rick Hansen, a difference-maker himself!
But, getting back to LINX… led by the dynamic Nicole Fuhsel and supported by a dedicated team and board of directors, LINX’s  passionate mission is to improve the lives of local individuals who have developmental limitations, but who can work and play with the greatest enthusiasm. The clients thrive on being given specific tasks in the workplace, adding to their quality of life. I know some of them, and they are cheerful and sweet. I worked for a couple of years for a Leduc company that employed some LINX ‘clients’, and with their kind supervisor in tow, they would show up on time and with a smile, and tackle their assigned duties with enthusiasm and pride. I am hoping to attend the upcoming Steak BBQ & Dance that LINX is planning for Saturday September 15. The versatile, contemporary band “Crossfire” will perform, and with the tickets a reasonable $29. and the event taking place at the Leduc West Heritage Park (just a few minutes West of Leduc off Hy 39), I suspect the crowd will be large and... lively! 
On that same day of September 15, the Leduc Boat Club is hosting its 5th ANNUAL BIG BOAT REGATTA. I am excited about this event, as the keenest of regional teams will participate: this is a close-knit community, where high energy, fun competitiveness and team spirit are found –in abundance! It is indeed fascinating to see people of various backgrounds, with widely different careers and vastly different fitness levels coming together to create solid teams and solid friendships… Some keen paddlers whose teams declined to participate are signing up as ‘subs’ for other teams, as they are very focused on competing –and winning! So the racing should be fierce, and the victories sweet.
The next day, an event is taking place in that same area of Leduc, where more participants than spectators will be on site… The TERRY FOX RUN is around the corner!  I miss the days when our Calmar School would organize The Run, and parents were invited to come join their kids and walk the route with them… So on Sunday September 16, as I vow to increase my fitness regime, you might find me at Telford House, to join my neighbors and ‘walk, jog, or...roll’, as the Terry Fox motto allows us!
Thanks for your friendly notes and feedback! I can be found at dominique@pipestoneflyer.ca. Enjoy the first sights of Autumn, Friends! 



 
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