Loni Mounkes

Bluffton girls off to Alberta Winter Games

Two Bluffton girls spent the weekend at the Alberta Winter Games where they competed in volleyball.

Two Bluffton girls spent the weekend at the Alberta Winter Games where they competed in volleyball.

This year, the Games were held in Medicine Hat, Feb. 13 to 16.

Olivia Quaife, 13 and in Grade 8 at Bluffton School and 15-year-old Loni Mounkes, a Grade 9 student at Bluffton School competed at the winter games.

Both girls attended tryouts at Lindsay Thurber High School last fall for the Games.

“I wasn’t even going to try out. I didn’t think I would make the team at all,” said Quaife, who was surprised and delighted she did, in fact, make the team.

The girls both love the sport and as well as school volleyball they play club volleyball for a team in Sylvan Lake called The SLVC Wave.

They also play baseball; Loni is a pitcher and plays first base and Olivia plays outfield and short stop.

The girls are excited, but nervous about competing in the Games.

“The closer it gets the more nervous we get,” said Mounkes, during an interview last Wednesday. “We will be competing against the best girls in Alberta.”

The Alberta Winter Games began as a government initiative for amateur sport and offered an opportunity for all Albertans to participate.

The first Alberta Winter Games were held in Banff in 1976. Since that time each of the Games have been hosted in different communities throughout the province. The Games are hosted every two years.

For the Alberta Games, the province is divided into eight zones. Participants compete at zone playoffs, held three to four months prior to the Alberta Games, where they earn the right to compete as a member of the zone team.