VICTORIA – The Canada Summer Games dates back to 1969, where it has alternated with the winter games every two years. The 2017 Games are hosted Jul. 28-Aug. 13 in Winnipeg, Man. and is the 13th summer installment. This year the event will feature 16 sports, over 250 events with over 4,000 athletes and coaches participating.

The University of Victoria Vikes are pleased to announce a strong group of rowers and track athletes who will compete at the games for their respective provinces.

On Jun. 15 Athletics BC announced 50 athletes for the games including UVic’s Thomas Oxland who will race the 1500-m. Third-year Vike Oxland, who hails from Nanaimo, will be the only track competitor representing BC at the Games. The Social Sciences major will race team mate and fellow third year Tim Longley. Longley, who will compete for Nova Scotia, will race the 1500-m and 800-m and is coached by former stand-out Vike and now Dalhousie and Nova Scotia provincial team coach Rich Lehman. Longley is one of 68 athletes named to Nova Scotia’s track and field team for the Canada Summer Games.

Third-year women’s cross-country and track athlete Andie Wood will race for Manitoba in the 3000-m steeplechase. Wood qualified in her provincial team trials in a time of 11:26.40.

Incoming cross-country and track athlete Desirae Ridenour will also be competing at the games but not on the track. Cowichan Secondary graduate Ridenour is an accomplished runner but at this Games will be looking to improve her 2015 bronze medal triathlon finish. Ridenour will compete for Team BC alongside team mates Holly and Hannah Henry, who were both by her side at the 2015 games in Wood Buffalo. The trio will go after the individual triathlon titles and will be looking to defend their gold medal mixed relay title and silver medal women’s relay title.

On the water, there will be no shortage of Vikes. Rowing BC announced a list of 29 rowers and coxswains, of which 13 have ties to UVic. The rowing contingent will race 14 different events over the course of four race days.

The rowers will take part in a training camp at Elk Lake, Jul. 6-9, in combination with representing the Provincial Team at the BC Championships/Challenge West regatta. A pre-departure camp will take place at the UBC Boathouse in Richmond, BC beginning Jul. 21.

Winnipeg is the second city in Manitoba to host a summer edition of the Canada Games after Brandon hosted in 1997. The 2017 games will be the 50th anniversary of the Canada Games.