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Local swimmer heading to North American Indigenous Games next month

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Tara Jeffrey

Competing as an elite swimmer may seem like an intense endeavour — the dedication and training, mastering the right technique and skills — but for Ali Page, the pool is her sanctuary.

“It’s actually very relaxing for me,” said the 14-year-old member of the Sarnia Rapids Swim Club and Grade 8 student at Gregory Hogan Catholic School. “Swimming helps calms my mind; it’s a very calming space.”

So it’s no surprise she’s ready to take on her next challenge: the North American Indigenous Games, being held next month in Nova Scotia.

“It was pretty exciting to be selected,” said Ali, who is Metis, and among four other female swimmers selected to represent Ontario in the U14 division.

Officials with the games have access to Ali’s swim times at meets throughout the season, explained mom, Michelle, and based on those results, she was selected to the team.

“We got an email saying she was selected, and we were thrilled,” she said.

Coached by Sue Weir, Ali has been swimming since she was six, and already has an impressive haul of medals over her swim career, which includes early morning swims and regular meets.

“I just really enjoy the competition,” she said.

The 10th North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) will host competitions in 16 sports across 21 venues in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Dartmouth, Millbrook First Nation and Sipekne’katik — bringing more than 5,000 athletes, coaches and team staff together, July 15-23.

Athletes range in age from 13-19, and come from across Turtle Island (North America).

For more information, and to follow Ali’s results, visit https://naig2023.com/

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