For 16 days in August, student-athletes, coaches, families, and fans flocked to the Niagara Region to experience a celebration of Canadian sport during the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games. Now that the dust has settled after this whirlwind experience, we share our top ten moments of the Canada Summer Games of 2022.
1. Ridley Athletes Represented
Niagara hosting this celebration of sport was already sweet enough, but our Canada Games experience was made even sweeter when we found out that ten Ridleians, past and present, were selected to represent their home provinces during the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games. From basketball to rowing, seeing our student-athletes, and even a coach too, compete at a sport they hold so close to their hearts was a dream come true. Congratulations to: Presley Daschuk ’24, Talia Nixon ’23, Sammie Balfour ’23, Jack Petrunick ’19, Lauren McPhail ’23, Shane Keagan ’22, Niko Schramm ’20, Eli Djordjevic ’23, Topaz Nnani ’22 and Coach, Dereck Schwandt for all their hard work and determination making it to the Summer Games.
2. Community Members Carried the Torch
Before the Games began, the torch made its way through Quebec and Ontario before landing in Niagara. Along its journey, several Ridleians held the flame, including alumnus, Tim Taylor ’68, and Board Administrative Assistant and alumni parent, Linda Chang. During the incredible Opening Ceremony, members of the Ridley Rowing team rowed the torch into the arena in spectacular fashion. Watch the Opening Ceremony here (Ridley at 1:43:50): https://vimeo.com/736672360/536afa015d.
3. The Cadet Band Played at First Medal Ceremony
If you were watching the first medal ceremony of the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games, you might have spotted some familiar red uniforms. That’s right, members of our very own Ridley College Cadet Band volunteered their time to participate in the swimming medal ceremony on August 7th. This was the first medal ceremony of the Games and a life-changing experience for our Cadets.
4. Ridley Tigers went Head-to-Head
On August 12th, two former Ridley Tigers—Topaz Nnani ’22 and Eli Djordjevic ’23—went head-to-head during the Alberta vs. British Columbia basketball game at the Meridian Centre. Courtside was recent graduate, Shunsho Ando Heng ’22, who captured the game on camera while cheering on his fellow Ridleians. In the end, British Columbia took home the win, but both players brought home lifelong memories.
5. Headmaster Kidd and Mrs. Kidd Presented Rowing Medals
On August 20th, the rowing finals took place, culminating with the medal ceremony. Ridley’s Headmaster, Ed Kidd and Director of Wellbeing, Hanna Kidd, presented medals to the athletes. Our highlight was seeing gold medals placed around the necks of not one but two Ridley Rowers.
6. Student-Athletes Brought Home Hardware
The opportunity to participate in the Canada Games and represent your home province is remarkable in and of itself but standing up on the podium and taking home a medal is simply transformative. Three Ridley athletes had this experience as they took home Silver and Gold medals for their respective sports. During the Rowing finals, Shane Keagan ’22 took home one Gold medal with the Team Ontario men’s eight crew, while Niko Schramm ’20 took home two Gold medals with the Team Ontario men’s eight and men’s quad crew. On the court, Eli Djordjevic ’23 took home Silver with the British Columbia basketball team. We hope they cherish these medals for the rest of their lives and remember the grit and perseverance they displayed to earn them.
7. Conversations started at the Niagara Quality Sport Summit
Inspired by the Canada Games, 20 Niagara Region organizations joined Brock University on August 19th for the Niagara Quality Sport Summit. There, they started a conversation about how to enhance accessibility and participation in sport for those residing in the Region. As one of the most active schools in the nation and one that strives to ensure each community member finds a passion for physical activity, this was a conversation we just had to be a part of.
8. Volunteers Give Their Time and Talent
We would be remiss if we talked about our top ten highlights without mentioning our INCREDIBLE volunteers from the Ridley community. Students, staff, friends, and families volunteered their time to help with medal ceremonies, activation stations, event marshalling, photography, and more, making the Canada Games a reality. Over the course of the Games, Ridleians participated in a jaw-dropping 75 per cent of the medal ceremonies. As a school rooted in giving back, it warmed our hearts to see so many members of our community contributing their time and talents.
9. Ridley Spread our Message of Physical Literacy
As a partner of the Canada Games, Ridley had activation stations set up at the Meridian Centre, Canada Games Park, Welland Stadium, and the Henley Grandstand. There, interested Canada Games goers could learn more about Ridley and find out how we—along with our partners, Active for Life and Sport for Life—deliver quality sport to students and teach them the importance of physical literacy. Pin collectors could also stop by our booths to collect the limited edited Ridley College pin.
10. Faculty and Staff Supported Student-Athletes
Students are at the heart of Ridley and the connections formed between students and their circle of care are strong. So, it was no surprise that Coaches, Advisors and Heads of Houses, to name a few, could be spotted in the stands cheering on their past and present students as they compete in the Games. We are so grateful for the relationships that are formed here at Ridley.
Check out our photos from the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games: