Volleyball player trekking 1700 km for Ontario Summer Games – London Free Press (Blogs) (blog)

How do you travel to London from the small city of Kenora, Ontario, located about a 40-minute drive away from the Manitoba-Ontario boarder?

Fifteen-year-old indoor volleyball player Katlynn Derouard has a plan, and the 1,700 kilometre trek begins on Friday.

“We’re driving to Winnipeg, flying from Winnipeg to Toronto, then going to Guelph for a training camp,” Derouard said.

Katlynn Derouard is competing at the Ontario Summer Games next month. After the half-week training camp in Guelph to help her team prepare for the Games, she will finally arrive in London.

Derouard has lived in Kenora her whole life. Kenora is more than two hours from Winnipeg and a five-and-a-half hour drive from Thunder Bay.

She is one of the athletes traveling the farthest to participate in the Ontario Summer Games.

Surprisingly, this is not Derouard’s first visit to London.

Her high-school varsity team travelled to London in March to compete in the OFSAA Volleyball Championship. Derouard was one of four Grade 9 students on the team.

“We didn’t do very good, but it was fun,” she said.

Derouard started playing volleyball in grade four.

“I used to watch the high school students play volleyball and it looked fun,” she said.

Since then, Derouard has played for her school’s team and competitively outside of school.

She has volleyball practice three times each week. On top of that, she attends a daily workout class.

Derouard said she doesn’t have the chance to play in a lot of big tournaments, so she is “really excited” for the Ontario Summer Games.

There are about 14 players on her volleyball team. Derouard said a few of the girls also call Kenora home.

“I’ve never played with these girls before, so that will be cool,” she said.

Derouard said her family and a few friends are travelling to London to cheer for her. She is also looking forward to getting a chance to watch other sports at the Games, like soccer.

The Ontario Summer Games is the province’s largest multi-sport event. The first of London’s back-to-back games will run from August 2-5, featuring 21 different sports and more than 3,400 participants, including youth athletes aged 12 to 18, coaches and officials.

All events are free to attend, including the opening ceremony at TD Stadium on August 2.

Ontario Summer Games

The Ontario Summer Games run August 2-5, 2018

Over 3,400 participants, including athletes, coaches and officials
1,500 medals to be won
Over 1,100 volunteers
21 different sports
25 different venues across the city, including Western University, Fanshawe College, Labatt Park and the Canada Games Aquatic Centre
$6 million is estimated as the economic impact from the games
All events, including opening ceremonies, are free to attend