Abby Bilyk, left, and her brother, Liam Bilyk, will compete in badminton at the Arctic Winter Games from March 10-14 in Alaska.

A brother and sister from High Prairie are gearing up for the Arctic Winter Games next March in Alaska.

Abby Bilyk, 15, and her brother Liam Bilyk, 17, will compete in badminton at the Arctic Winter Games from March 10-14 in Alaska.

Both students attend E.W. Pratt High School, and were selected after tryouts in mid-October in Edmonton.

Abby is excited to compete.

“I m passionate about badminton and I thought it would be a cool experience to compete at the Arctic Winter Games,” says Abby, a Grade 10 student.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to represent my awesome little town in an international event.”

She will compete in U-16 female singles and doubles and mixed doubles.

“Once I knew I made the top two after tryouts in Edmonton on Oct. 14, then I knew I qualified for Alaska,” Abby says.

“By the time I made it to the final tryouts in Edmonton, they were down to four in my categories – the top two from each zone – I had to be in the top two in the final competition to qualify.”

As a Grade 9 student last year, she won gold in singles in the High Prairie School Division divisionals which qualified her for the zones where she won silver.

Liam will compete in U-19 male singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

“I want to pursue all opportunities that come my way for the sport that I love and excel in,” says Liam, a Grade 12 student.

“I’m super-excited and proud to show people that even when you come from a small town with limited resources and opportunities in comparison to cities, anything is possible.”

Similar to his sister, Liam realized when he made the final four in his categories – the top two from each zone – he had a a chance.

“I had to be in the top two in the final competition to qualify.”

Last school year in Grade 11, he won gold in singles in divisionals, gold in zones and bronze at the provincials.

The Arctic Winter Games will be held n Mat-Su Valley (55 km north of Anchorage) with athletes from Alaska, northern Alberta, Quebec, the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, Nunavut, Kalaallit Nunaat and Sapmi.

by Richard Froese

This item copyrighted by   AlbertaChat.com / South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta

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