Three local athletes competed against the best in Ontario last week at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) tournament in Chatham. Badminton players Millie Cathcart, Kayley Van Herpen, and Elyssa Miller – who are students at North Grenville District High School – were honoured to compete against fellow school athletes in the tournament which was hosted by Pain Court.
“Fantastic achievement!” writes the girls’ teacher and coach, Cathy Parent. “NGDHS is proud, their families are proud, and we hope the community is too!”
After the conclusion of the tournament, athlete Kayley Van Herpen wrote to the Times about her experience. “It was an amazing honour to have played in Chatham, Ontario at the OFSAA badminton tournament in my grade 11 year in high school,” she said. “All across Ontario, phenomenal athletes compete at this tournament, and for Millie (singles), and Elyssa and I (double partners) to have made it really shows how hard we worked for that moment. I was so proud to have gotten the chance to represent my high school at such a huge sporting event. The tournament was so much fun whether we were playing our own games, watching other teams play, or even meeting other people. It was an unforgettable experience.”
Fellow athlete Elyssa Miller also weighed in. “Last week was my first experience at OFSAA,” she said. “I didn’t have expectations except to be playing some of the top teams of the Province. After our first game, we lost and I felt relief. It wasn’t so bad. Then we won and stayed in the B flight for the rest of the tournament. The atmosphere at OFSAA was positive – everyone was happy because it was the first OFSAA event since COVID in March 2020. I just went out for badminton because I heard it was a positive environment and lots of fun. Playing with my partner Kayley and seeing how far we could make it will be a memory I’ll hold onto for life. I still can’t believe we made it. Receiving support from everyone back home in Kemptville made me try harder. We received lots of shoutouts on Instagram, texts, phone calls and more. Our coaches were so proud of us and I am so thankful for Mr. D Byrd and Mme Parent.”
Millie Cathcart was unavailable to provide a comment due to school commitments, but Cathy is confident that she enjoyed her OFSAA experience along with her fellow athletes. Great job, girls!