Nisa Hoffer had never competed in a canoe or kayak race before this year’s B.C. Summer Games, only paddling for recreation, but that didn’t stop the 13-year-old Burns Lake resident from snagging a medal in one of the events at the games this year.
Hoffer was one of four competitors from the Burns Lake area to travel to Nanaimo for the B.C. Summer Games which were held July 17-20.
Other athletes from the Burns Lake area to compete at the summer games include, Braden Puglas, Antoine Hopegood and Mathieu Hopegood.
Puglas won a silver medal in the boys C-1 2000m Open event and Antoine Hopegood won a bronze medal in the boys C-1 200m Learn to Train event.
Nisa’s medal, a silver came on the last day of the competition, as she place second in the Girls C-1 2000m Open
“Winning the medal was really satisfying I felt like I had accomplished a lot,” Nisa said.
“She was really proud to call home and tell me that she’d won a medal and I of course was pretty excited for her,” Dirk Hoffer, Nisa’s father said, “ It’s a big accomplishment to go down and compete at a higher level than what you’re used to up here, things went well.”
Puglas added that he really enjoyed being out on the water and that his summer games experience was great.
“I learned a lot, got to meet a bunch of new people and I had lots of fun,” Puglas said, “Winning the medal was really exciting.”
Most athletes in the Northwest region don’t have to qualify for the games like the competitors in the South due to smaller representation.
Nisa’s father says he’d like to see more kids get involved in the sport and added that it takes a lot more strength and endurance than people, himself included, realize to go fast.
“It’s a great sport,” Dirk said, “I’d like to see more kids doing it and they had a younger group and an older kids group here at the camp this summer of it is growing.”
Along with her silver medal Nisa also was award with a $500 sports education bursary by Coast Capital Savings.
She was one of 16 athletes at the games out of 350 applicants to be awarded one of the bursaries.
Nisa says she plans to display her medal in her room, safe from the grasp of others.
“I’m going to display my medal in my room so that no one can just come and grab it,” Nisa said with a laugh.