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Northern athletes undaunted by their challenges at Canada Games

Northern athletes undaunted by their challenges at Canada Games

Cyclists pedal during the men’s omnium elimination track cycling competition at the Pan Am Games in Milton, Ontario, Thursday, July 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)…

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Cyclists pedal during the men’s omnium elimination track cycling competition at the Pan Am Games in Milton, Ontario, Thursday, July 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) YELLOWKNIFE –

Athletes from across Canada’s North will be among those competing at this month’s Canada Summer Games, including some in sports rarely seen in their home territories.

Nunavut is sending its first beach volleyball team to compete at the amateur multi-sport festival that opened Saturday in Ontario’s Niagara Region and concludes Aug. 21.

"We don’t play beach volleyball very often in Nunavut," beach player Talia Grant said. "We don’t have the facilities for it. RELATED STORIES

"I’m incredibly excited but also quite nervous because this is still a new sport to us. I’m excited to see how things go."

Nunavut’s beach volleyball team, which typically trains indoors there, headed to both Halifax and Kelowna, B.C., in the weeks leading up to the Canada Games to acclimatize to playing in sand in hot temperatures.

Creative workarounds are not uncommon for northern athletes, who are often underdogs at the summer games.Competitors from Canada’s three territories often face challenges not seen by their provincial counterparts, such as limited recreational facilities, shorter summers and smaller team numbers.Despite those hurdles, members of Nunavut’s beach volleyball team are undaunted."We face a lot of challenges and obstacles, but for us to overcome them and come here to play beach volleyball, it just shows we play hard," said team member Ian McDonald.Team Nunavut, usually the smallest one at the Canada Games, has won one […]

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