Games makes player local hero

Badminton player reflects on tough competition

March 5, 2015

She didn’t choose to be someone to look up to but Christina Bonnetrouge of Fort Providence says she’s accepting that title after returning from the 2015 Canada Winter Games.

“I’ve been told that I’m a role model for the youth by many in the community,” she said in an interview.

“I didn’t really choose to be a role model.”

Bonnetrouge, 17, played badminton alongside her 18-year-old nephew Spencer Bonnetrouge for Team NWT during the games in Prince George, B.C.

The two are now back at home in the hamlet after the games wrapped up March 1.

She hopes their experience will show younger people that even those from smaller communities in the North can train and go to the games.

“(The) Canada Winter Games is pretty big. If I can do it, I hope they realize they can do it,” she said about other residents of the hamlet.

The two didn’t come home with a medal but she said the experience certainly made her a better badminton player.

In the mixed team competition Feb. 26, Team NWT played Nunavut and New Brunswick.

At the end of the day, Team NWT had two ties and two losses. The team finished last in 11th place.

“The competitions were really tough,” she said. “I think our performance was pretty good. I feel like in a way we played against better people. But it made us better at our performance.”

Bonnetrouge said the two have only been playing badminton for four or five years, sometimes just practising with themselves.

During the games, they were up against people who have competed for almost seven years.

She described those doubles matches with her nephew as nerve-wracking, saying that the team was depending on them doing well.

Spencer helped calm her down by giving her positive thoughts and giving suggestions she said.

Overall she said she enjoyed the games.

Though she’s previously competed at the Arctic Winter Games, it was her first time at the Canada Winter Games.

“It was pretty amazing,” she said, especially being around people from all different parts of the country.

“I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet them, they were all nice people,” said Bonnetrouge.

Brent Betsina of Yellowknife brought home the territory’s only medal, a silver in judo.

Looking ahead, she said she plans on attending the Western Canada Summer Games for badminton in Fort McMurray, Alta.