A pair of St. Mary High School volleyball players will compete against French-speaking youth from across the nation at the 2014 Canadian Francophone Games in Gatineau, Que.
St. Mary students Evan Parchomchuk and Connor Murray, both heading into Grade 11 in the fall, will represent Saskatchewan at the games on July 23-27.
According to the event’s website, the Francophone Games is financially backed by Heritage Canada to “contribute to strengthening participants’ sense of belonging to the Canadian francophone community.”
Parchomchuk and Murray play together on the St. Mary Marauders volleyball team as well as the U16 Prince Albert Volleyball Club Smashing Bananas squad.
“It’s going to be good,” Murray said of playing alongside his buddy Parchomchuk in Quebec. “There’s lots of guys on the team that I’ve played with so I think we are going to be a tight group.”
Parchomchuk agreed that competing alongside friends in Gatineau should give the Saskatchewan squad an advantage as they take on tough Quebec and Ontario teams.
“We’ve got good chemistry,” Parchomchuk said of Murray. “It’s going to be a good time to see how we stack up against the other provinces.”
All athletes at the games have a working understanding of the French language and were born between 1996 and 2000.
More than 1,200 French-speaking youth from across the country will converge on Gatineau for the event, which will showcase 10 official and two demonstration events.
Tryouts for the Équipe Sask team were held in Saskatoon in December as the pair of Marauders made the cut to represent the province in Quebec.
Parchomchuk and Murray are no strangers to competing on the national stage.
Earlier this year, the pair of St. Mary volleyball players competed at U16 Nationals in Calgary as well as several provincial tournaments with the PAVC.
“It’ll just be a great experience,” Parchomchuk said of heading to Quebec. “Not necessarily for volleyball, but just going around, having fun and meeting a bunch of new people.”