Sprinters Carly Davies and Hannah Jay practise at Skeena Secondary one week before the summer games. “It’s about the experience

And they’re off to the games!

The BC Summer Games start tomorrow and around 50 Terrace youth will be attending

The 2012 BC Summer Games kicks off tomorrow and Terrace’s young athletes are ready to go.

Approximately 50 Terrace youths are travelling to this year’s games, held in Surrey July 19 – 22. They’ll compete in seven different sporting events ranging from golf to track to volleyball to basketball.

Heading there with them are more than a dozen coaches and volunteers, many of whom have been involved in these kids’ budding careers since the beginning.

For many of the kids, this is their first trip to the games. Once there, they’ll be immersed in a camp-like environment, bunking with their teammates and fellow competitors, sharing meals, and mingling at nightly dances.

“I think they are all really looking forward to competing and having a bit of fun too,” said Crystal Thomas, the triathlete coach. She’s been working with assistant coach Willie Muller and three northwest athletes, including Thomas Christensen from Terrace.

“We are very fortunate to have such keen and excited people to be joining the team this year,” she said.

It’s no secret that northwest athletes face a bit of an uphill battle when it comes to provincial competition, simply because the pool of kids is smaller than the zones down south, and there are lengthy travel times between towns inside the northwest zone.

“Our zone constitutes 100,000 people compared to Richmond/Delta that has a base of approximately 1.2 million people all within a small area,” said Geoff Watt, assistant coach of the fastpitch team, made up of kids from Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers. “The biggest factor for us is not seeing the high calibre of pitching on a regular basis that the kids down south see.”

But the team has been making it work, practising in their respective areas during the week and getting together with the whole team on weekends.

“We have a good group of kids and they all seem to be coming together,” he said. “I am optimistic that we will be competitive with the other teams.”

As for the kids, they don’t seem to be fazed by the competition ahead. We’ve got about a one in 16 chance, laughed track members Carly Davies, Hannah Jay, and Patrick Holmberg in unison, when asked what their odds were.

“But that’s okay,” said Jay. “It’s about the experience.”