Far from Winnipeg but still at the heart of competitions!


For most parents, watching their kids compete in a multi-sport event such as the Canada Games is a dream come true, but what about watching it from 4000 kilometers away on a TV screen? “It’s great to see!” says Nathalie Djan-Chékar, who has been able to watch her daughter, Ava Djan-Chékar, compete in diving at the Pan Am Pool thanks to the live streams at canadagamestv.ca

Nathalie lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland and usually makes the trip to her daughter’s competitions to cheer her on. This year, due to costs and time constraints, Nathalie stayed home and it’s from there, 4000 kilometres away, that she follows Ava’s performance at the Canada Games.

Ava is 12 years old and is one of the youngest divers at this year’s Canada Games. She completes Team Newfoundland and Labrador’s trio of divers, along with Jake Billard, age 13, and Jacob Shortall, age 15.

“They are young athletes,” explains Robert Bertolo, the diving team’s manager. “They want to be able to return to the Canada Games.” It’s a reconstruction period for this team of divers who only have access to a single diving pool in their province.

These athletes are taking part in a national competition, more than 4000 kilometres away from home. In Ava’s case, it’s the first time that she’s gone to a competition without her family by her side. There are certainly times where her mother starts to worry, but her pride and excitement quickly take over. The mother and daughter duo keep in touch through text and sometimes sneak in a phone call in the evening. Nathalie realizes that this is a big step for her daughter; she can sometimes hear it in Ava’s voice. Mom joins the excitement when she can, watching her daughter from her home in St. John’s. Even sitting alone before her TV, she is cheering on Ava’s feats.