A second-year chemical engineering student at the University of New Brunswick is finally accomplishing her goal of taking part in the Canada Winter Games.
Lauren Martin will be competing in the biathlon for Team New Brunswick with her father, Trent, as her head coach.
“It’s really special for me because I get to go there with my dad,” Martin said.
The Canada Winter Games run from Feb. 15 to March. 3.
She also found out her family will be joining them on the trip to Red Deer, Alta. until Feb. 23, thanks to her grandfather.
“I didn’t think my mom and my sister were going to be able to come out because of travel and stuff,” she said.
“My grandfather actually was like, ‘Nope, we’re all going.’ They’re all gonna be there – my whole family. It’s going to be really special.”
Martin has been training and competing in biathlons for 10 seasons now, but this is her first time competing in the Canada Winter Games. She made the team in 2014 as an alternate but didn’t get to go to the games.
“I’ve been wanting to go to games for like five years now. It felt really good to go from alternate to the first female going in.”
Martin’s dad is very excited to be experiencing this with his daughter, both as a coach and a father.
“As a coach, you take a lot of joy in seeing young athletes succeed and experience these once-in-a-lifetime events,” Trent said in a email.
“Being able to experience this with Lauren is something I am at a loss of words for. Simply amazing.”
Martin, from Miramichi, will be competing alongside Emma Septon from Miramichi, Megan Costain from Saint John and Emily Czerwinski from Fredericton. Susan Clancy, who is also from Miramichi, is the alternate for the women’s team.
Fourth-year St. Thomas University student Emily Mchugh is at the Canada Winter Games judging the men’s artistic gymnastics competition and first-year Tyler Magee competing in speed skating.
Martin trains 11 month of the year for biathlons. During the race, athletes ski laps around a shooting range, stopping to shoot targets after each lap.
Martin found out on Dec. 23 that she is going to represent New Brunswick at the Canada Winter Games. To make the team, athletes competed in four trial races. Their best two finish times were used to determine who made the team. Martin placed first in all four trial races with her first two being her best times.
Trent was worried his daughter would struggle to balance school and training, especially since the two couldn’t train together anymore.
“At the first trial race for games, when I saw her leading the field, I was very impressed and proud – both as a coach and father,” said Trent.
She will be competing in three races at the games with the chance to race in the relay race as well. The relay team will be decided during the games.
Martin is excited to be representing her home province.
“I’ve just been wanting this really long time. So, it was really nice to know that I’ve made it.”