By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
More than 2,500 of the province’s finest young athletes converged on London, Ont. this past weekend, including a strong local contingent.
Those Oshawa athletes ages 12 to 18 were participating in the Ontario Summer Games, the province’s largest multi-sport event.
The games include 21 sports such as baseball, basketball, lacrosse, cycling, rugby, soccer, diving, archery, triathlon and volleyball.
Eleven members of the Oshawa 15U Legionaires were selected to the EOBA team this year.
Among them was Grant McMillan.
“It’s a pretty good opportunity for myself and my teammates to play not only in front of scouts, but represent our city,” McMillan says.
It is an opportunity McMillan has had in the back of his mind for a while.
“I always kind of wanted to go and see what we could achieve,” he says.
The pitcher/right fielder/first baseman says having so many of his fellow Legionaries on the team is an added bonus.
“We’ve all been playing together for so long, and we already know most of the other players,” he adds.
Jacob Miller was very happy to make the team as well.
“It feels pretty good honestly. I’ve been playing baseball for six years and it’s nice to get recognized, and play in bigger tournaments than I have before,” he says.
For him, having so many of his teammates around also means a lot.
“It’s pretty great to be part of this team. Those guys are basically my brothers,” he says.
And while winning is a huge goal for Miller, he says, “it’s more about development and getting better.”
Sixteen-year-old Anjali Jagannathan will represented the Toronto Elite Reds at the games in rugby 7s.
She called her selection to the team “absolutely amazing.”
“I only started playing rugby in Grade 9. I’ve never had the opportunity to participate in any high level sports,” she says.
Prior to departing for London, Jagannathan said she felt there was so much she could learn from her teammates.
“I’m really just looking forward to having a good experience there. To play with these girls that are so experienced, they’ve all played for Ontario and Canada, I just want to learn as much as I can,” she says.
Heading into the games, she was working diligently to prepare herself.
“I’ve been training definitely a lot more. We’ve done a lot of training at the [Toronto Red Elite] academy, and I’ve been doing a lot of conditioning and weight training.”
The Ontario Summer Games take place every two years. Along with more than 2,500 athletes are there are also approximately 1,000 coaches and officials who participate as well.