Torch Bearers

Torchbearers Biographies


Swift Current Torchbearers

Aleah Nickel

Occupation: Student

Torchbearer Role: Walk/Run

Aleah is currently involved in several sports including wrestling, soccer, track & field, and football. Wrestling is near and dear to Aleah’s heart, and during her downtime, she coaches & referee’s younger athletes. She realizes the impact her accomplishments has on the youth she works with, and she strives to offer a mixture of training and fun all while striving to meet their goals. 
Proudest moment: “At the 2019 U19 Nationals, I came home with two national gold medals, one in Freestyle and the other in Greco-Roman. As well, I was presented with an outstanding female wrestler of the tournament in Freestyle and Greco-Roman.”
What it means to Aleah to be a Torchbearer: “For me, it means a lot. I have been involved in many Games in my career of wrestling and even track and field. To be able to represent my hometown, while being at home, is an amazing feeling that will not fade. I was at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2015 Western Summer Games as an athlete, but being able to carry the torch to open these Games will be a greater feeling.”



Harv Martinez

Occupation: Retired School Administrator

Torchbearer Role: Walk/Run

Harv has been instrumental in the development of players, students, and coaches throughout his 32 years in Swift Current. He has remained involved with the  57’s baseball team as an advisor and special project coordinator.
Proudest Moment: In 2008, Harv was inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame in North Battleford. “It was a moment I appreciated deeply – not as much for the personal recognition but more so in representing the City of Swift Current; a place that welcomed me and gave me the chance to become part of the community, not only through baseball but also in education.”What it means to Harv to be a Torchbearer: “Being selected as a torchbearer for the Share the Spirit Torch Relay is an honour that is tough to put into words. I am extremely excited about the Games coming to Swift Current, and I look forward to being a part of something so special! I have been honoured over the years to have represented Swift Current in various capacities while competing throughout Western Canada. I am proud of this community, and I am certain that all the volunteers and hosts will show the rest of Western Canada just how well we can put on an event such as the Western Canada Summer Games!”



Hunter Berg

Occupation: Student at SCCHS

Torchbearer Role: Wheel

Hunter has always had a passion for sports! Born with Cerebral Palsy, today Hunter is 16 years old and partakes in wheelchair sports including sit skiing, wheelchair basketball, sledge hockey, and most recently, wheelchair racing.
Proudest Moment: “I have been playing sledge hockey since I was eight years old.  We used to have to drive to Kindersley or Regina to play, but two years ago, my family and I were involved in starting a team in Swift Current.  We now have two teams (go IceBreakers!), and it makes me very proud to know I was a part of that, and that it will continue to grow.”
What it means to Hunter to be a Torchbearer: “I was very excited to be nominated to represent my City at the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games.  It will be a once in a lifetime experience for the Games to be held in my hometown, and I can’t wait.”



Jackie Maffenbeier

Torchbearer Role: Run/Walk

Originally from Stewart Valley, SK. Jackie has called Swift Current home for most of her life. She has been heavily involved in sports as a participant, coach, official and volunteer on the local, provincial, and national stage. Jackie participated in school sports in track, volleyball, and basketball and went on to represent Saskatchewan at Canadian Nationals in basketball as well as played at the University level with the Regina Lady Cougars. She also represented Saskatchewan at the Canadian Championships for Slo-pitch.
Jackie coached many basketball teams in the province, of all age groups, and ran a program in Saskatchewan for youth called STARS Basketball, which had over 2000 youth participate from ages 5 to 18 in 11 towns and cities in Saskatchewan and employed more than 75 coaches per year.
Jackie has also volunteered on many committees throughout the years such as tourism, business groups, school groups, community improvement groups, and is currently volunteering for the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games.
What it means to Jackie to be a Torchbearer: “Complete excitement! I feel like being a torchbearer for these Games is a bit like my journey. I’m passing on the torch from being a young child with dreams of being a participant in the Games to the athlete I once was, to the coach I once was and now to the cheerleader and volunteer I now represent for the youth who are just starting their journey.”



Jeff Chambers

Occupation: PGA of Canada Golf Professional & Golf Coach

Torchbearer Role: Walk/Run

Jeff has resided in Swift Current for the past 17 years and in that time has had the fortunate occasion to take part in numerous coaching opportunities for both golf and curling, at the highest provincial level. Jeff has also assisted in organizing community events such as the Patch for two World Women’s Curling Championships. In golf specifically, Jeff has coached many national events; MJT Canadian Junior Team and eight international events; 3 in Scotland and 4 in Australia, Finland, and Estonia. As a competitor, Jeff has competed at Canada’s National Level many times and was the player of the year in our Province in 2011.
Proudest Moment: In 2018, Jeff was the recipient of the PGA of Canada Coach of the Year, which is the highest honor and award of his career. “In 2010, I was the first PGA of Saskatchewan member to win a National award, and it was for Junior Leader of the Year. I have been awarded the Junior Promoter of the Year for Saskatchewan a total of 7 times.”
What it means to Jeff to be a Torchbearer: “It’s a great honor to Share the Spirit in an official capacity.  I coached at the Canada Summer Games in 2013, and the atmosphere was amazing! The Torch Relay is such a great significance of any Games. To be part of that tradition is truly an honor, and I look forward to being in that moment.  With all I have done sports-wise in the community, I will be a familiar face to many in attendance and someone to look up to from the kids and parents, as many in the community know me well and what I do for sport in Swift Current.”



Linda Ellerington

Occupation: Shields Golf Course Manager

Torchbearer Role: Run/Walk

Sports have always been a part of Linda’s life, either coaching or playing. The Canada Games in ’79 started Linda’s career in racquetball, and 40 years later she is still playing at an elite level, competing Provincially, Nationally, at Pan Am’s and World Racquetball Championships. Linda also has a passion for golf and has won several tournaments and club championships.
Proudest moment: “I was proud and honoured to represent Canada in the Pan Am Racquetball Championships in Chile, bringing home a bronze medal.”
What it means to Linda to be a Torchbearer: “Watching the Canada Games in ‘79 started my athletic career and carrying the torch gives me a sense of “passing on the passion and sportsmanship” that we all share as athletes.”



Mailyn Leyeza

Occupation: RGM/Pharmacy Assistant

Torchbearer Role: Run/Walk

Mailyn is a single mother to three beautiful daughters; to say she is hardworking is an understatement! As a community-minded citizen with a passion for helping others, she spends her free time volunteering with Christ the Redeemer Parish, Meals on Wheels, the Palliative Care Program, and Dories House.
Proudest moment: “I’m proud to be able to live in Canada and begin a new life with my children. Having the means to provide their needs and let them experience better opportunities would be the top accomplishments of my life.”
What it means to Mailyn to be a Torchbearer: “I have been running for eight years now, and it changed my life holistically. Being a torchbearer is an honor and a meaningful thing for anyone. But more than that, may the light that the torch brings give enlightenment and warmth to everyone that’s part of the Summer Games. May it not only stop there but rather be shared to others even if they are not part of the event. In that way, the light from the torch is the spark that can spread beyond sports.”



Nolan Paradis

Occupation: Assistant Equipment Manager, Swift Current Broncos – Dream Job

Torchbearer Role: Walk

Nolan is a natural born jokester who loves spending time with his parents & brothers. Nolan has always had a love for sports, playing anything he could; however, his all-time favourite sport is hockey. Today, Nolan calls his position with the Swift Current Bronco’s his dream job. In his free time, Nolan volunteers his time with the 57’s. He won the provincial Great Work Award through SARC.
As an athlete, Nolan has competed in the Special Olympics for baseball and bowling, bringing home a silver medal in bowling.
Proudest Moment: “Joining the SC Broncos staff has been the highlight of my life.  Not only do I get to work with an exceptional team, but I also get to hang out with the boys when my work is done.  To make it the best experience ever, I joined the year they won the WHL Championship. I can’t imagine it getting any better than that.”
What it means to Nolan to be a Torchbearer: “I am so excited to be able to represent my community in the WCSG.  I am proud to be from Swift Current and proud to have been chosen for this chance of a lifetime event.”



Ty Zinger

Occupation: Student

Torchbearer Role: Walk/Run

Like many young Canadian’s, Ty’s first love for sports was hockey at age 4. Realizing his passion, Ty’s mom got him started in skating, and his grandpa helped develop his knowledge for sports in general.
Ty went on to play 2nd base and shortstop in baseball at age 6, basketball in grade 5, and most recently in 2019, joined the SCCHS Colts Football team.
In his downtime, Ty likes to volunteer his time to coaching at his old elementary school, Central School.
Proudest Moment: receiving the Heart and Soul award in football.
What it means to Ty to be a Torchbearer: “I am honored and proud to be accepted as a torchbearer for the Share the Spirit relay and welcome the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games to Swift Current!! This is a great way to welcome guests and athletes to our town; start the cheering and support off with a bang! It’s another way to show my love of life, sports and my hometown; it’s a way of giving back to Swift Current by showing my respect and excitement for what’s to come.”



Lac Pelletier Regional Park Torchbearers

Darby-Jayne Fletcher

Occupation: Nursing Student

Torchbearer Role: Canoe/Kayak

Darby-Jayne has been involved in her community & sports for her entire life. After a series of multiple concussions in a nine-year period while playing hockey, Darby-Jayne decided to quit contact sports, which is how she found her love for kayaking and canoeing. Attending the Saskatchewan Summer Games, Darby-Jayne brought home two silver medals in canoeing.
Darby-Jayne values the many lessons learned while training and competing, not to mention the connections and friendships she has established through her experiences. Skills she has learned through sports, volunteering, and through her nursing practice has allowed her to reflect and connect with people in ways that wouldn’t have been possible without her life experiences.
Proudest Moment: overcoming her head injuries and the challenges that came with those setbacks such as having to quit hockey and working hard to catch up on missed schoolwork so enrolling in the nursing program was an option.
“I can look back now and realize that I was faced with adversity and I had a choice to make: one, be resilient and keep going or two, quit and never see where I could have ended up.
Although the medical appointments, the late nights working on schoolwork, and the lack of a social life during that recovery time was hard, it doesn’t compare to the joy I have now as I am working towards becoming a registered nurse.”
What it means to Darby-Jayne to be a Torchbearer: “I believe that sports has taught me many important lessons throughout the years whether I was the player, coach, volunteer, fan, or referee. I love being involved wherever I can and I thank sports for providing me with the confidence I have today, the basic communication skills, which I continue to build upon, and the relationships and memories I have with teammates, friends, coaches, family members, and mentors. Being a torchbearer is just another way to be a part of the great way that sports impact people, and I look forward to being involved in the community that this event brings together.”



Ella Toles

Occupation: Middle School Student

Torchbearer Role: Canoe/Kayak

Ella’s hometown is Swift Current, SK and she is actively involved in roller derby for the Swift Current and Medicine Hat teams., She is the youngest member of a local writing group The Prairie Quills, and is actively involved in her church.
Proudest Moment: “I feel very accomplished with being able to say I play for the Redneck Betties (adult roller derby team) because I feel like it helps me improve drastically as a player. My mom also used to play for the team, so it feels amazing being able to be just like her.”
What it means to Ella to be a Torchbearer: “I love having opportunities like this to add to my resume, because it gives me a sense of accomplishment. I also believe the more unique opportunities you put yourself into, the better memories you’ll have. I’m also pretty ecstatic to ride in a canoe!”



James Bobick

Occupation: Retired SCCHS Physical Education Teacher

Torchbearer Role: Runner

Swift Current resident for 28 years, James has been retired for the past 22 years. However, he is still a competitive runner today!
Proudest Moment: running 59 marathons, over two hundred half marathons, ten-kilometre competitions, and taking part in two Boston marathons.
What it means to James to be a Torchbearer: “A chance to get involved in the Games doing something I enjoy.”



Tyrel Farnsworth

Occupation: Driver & Field Hand for Bacoda Crane

Torchbearer Role: Canoe/Kayak

Tyrel has been an athlete all his life, competing in school sports, canoeing & kayaking and over ten years of competitive hockey. Tyrel volunteers in the Village of Pennant to help whenever he can. He takes pride in his community & his country.



Ken Friesen

Occupation: Teacher

Torchbearer Role: Run/Walk

Ken has been involved with:
Basketball as a coach and official for 28 years
Football as a coach and official for 22 years
Music: forever, school, community and church
Proudest Moment: “I am proud to have played a small role in the development of football officiating crews for minor football. 6/9/12 man high school football in South West Saskatchewan.”
What it means to Ken to be a Torchbearer: “It is an honour to be involved in an event that allows our young athletes an opportunity to showcase the hard work and dedication that has gone into the development of their skills.”



Margo Zerr

Occupation: Semi-Retired

Torchbearer Role: Walk

Margo has been married to her husband Darcy for 45 years. Together they have three daughters & sons-in-law, two granddaughters, and seven grandsons.  Margo works alongside her husband on their cattle ranch & has worked in financial institutions in the past. Over the years, Margo has spent time volunteering at sporting events within her community and has been a member of their board since 2004.
Proudest Moment: “My greatest accomplishment is raising three wonderful daughters, who are very compassionate, helpful, and always encouraging others. They are community minded and as teachers, fundraising in their communities for varying fundraising groups, especially involving opportunities for children. They have strong values that they are teaching their children, our grandchildren, who are so precious to us. Our grandchildren are rewarding us with their love, and happiness & involvement in their activities.  As a parent & grandparent, I feel that I have the greatest gift, as my motto is: Children learn what they live.”
What it means to Margo to be a Torchbearer: “I am very touched to have been nominated, as I am a low key person and to be recognized and given this opportunity is very rewarding.”



Michelle Mckenzie

Occupation: Mayor of Maple Creek

Torchbearer Role: Walk

Born and raised in the town of Maple Creek, Michelle works as a CCA (nurses’ aide) at the Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility. In 2012, Michelle decided to run for City Council and was elected, and in 2018, Michelle was elected as the town’s Mayor.
Proudest Moment: “Being the first female metis Mayor elected in Maple Creek. I am not the first female Mayor for the Town of Maple Creek; however, I am the first elected female Mayor. So, I feel that is an accomplishment in itself.”
What it means to Michelle to be a Torchbearer: “I was surprised and honored to be nominated a torchbearer. This honor means the world to me, to have the chance to represent my beautiful Town of Maple Creek, to give inspiration to whoever is out there. I want people to see that it does not matter what life puts in your path. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything you dream.”



Sara Kuntz

Occupation: Recreation Director

Torchbearer Role: Walk/Run

Upon returning to her hometown after graduating with a Sports Medicine degree, all while playing four years of NCAA volleyball, Sara taught fitness classes and worked at Gull Lake School before being hired as Gull Lake’s Recreation Director. Through her employment, she has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to volunteer with many facilities, event and fundraising boards, and committees, and has been keeping the community active by providing various sport, culture and recreation activities.
In her spare time, Sara enjoys coaching and playing volleyball and basketball, running, and cooking.
What it means to Sara to be a Torchbearer: “Being a torchbearer for the 2019 WCSG is incredibly humbling and very exciting! To be part of an event full of amazing athletes reminds me of how lucky I am to have had and continue to have sport as a huge part of my life, and not to take for granted any day that I can still participate.”



The Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park Torchbearers

Allen Graves

Occupation: Agriculture Technician

Torchbearer Role: Walk/Run

Allen has been involved in sports since a young age, excelling at some, and practicing hard at others, to be average.  In addition to serving on the Swift Current Minor Baseball board, Allen became involved in coaching minor baseball to help pass on what he had learned.
On an annual basis, Allen helps organize the Swift Current Mixed Slo-Pitch League and spends time teaching Tae Kwon Do and coaching the competitive Sparring Team.
Proudest Moment: “I’m most proud of becoming a 2nd Degree Black Belt and continuing towards my 3rd Degree.”
What it means to Allen to be a Torchbearer: “It means a great deal to be nominated for this as it’s an acknowledgment for your commitment to the sport, even though we don’t look for acknowledgment. We compete and coach to further the sports we love and to help others reach their goals.”



Alexandria Boss

Occupation: SCCHS Grade 10 Student

Torchbearer Role: Walk

Born in Yellowknife NWT, Alexandria’s family moved to Swift Current in 2010.. Since that time, Alexandria has been in the French Immersion program and is active in the SCCHS bands, drama, business club, and cross country.
Proudest moment: “I received an award in drama for lighting design. It was for “The Chasm”. Plus, I belong to the SCCHS Wind Ensemble who received the ABA Superior Band award in Red Deer and Triple Gold at Whistler’s Con Bio Festival.”
What it means to Alexandria to be a Torchbearer: Alexandria believes that being involved in the Share the Spirit Torch Relay is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and will be an amazing experience.



B’yauling Toni

Occupation: Bicycle Mechanic

Torchbearer Role: Cyclist

B’yauling began cycling at a young age, as this was his family’s only means of transportation for both environmental and economic reasons.  As B’yauling grew older, he fell in love with cycling and started taking longer trips around Canada, later down to Mexico along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, and most recently, around the world.
Proudest moment: “Last year, over a series of seven months, I  cycled around the world, solo and unsupported. The journey crossed over 30,000 kms and 16 countries. Completing the journey at the age of 18 made me the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe by bicycle.”
What it means to B’yauling to be a Torchbearer: “It is an honor to be given this opportunity. It will give me a chance to act as a leader and role model for other athletes and my community and hopefully influence young people to participate in sport and active lifestyles.”



Elliot Duncalfe

Occupation: Student

Torchbearer Role: Swim + Walk/Run

Swimming competitively for the past ten years with the Swift Current Barracudas, has molded Elliot into the person she is today: hard-working, determined, driven, and has great respect for athletes. At the 2016 Saskatchewan Summer Games in Estevan,  Elliot qualified in two different events representing the Southwest: Swimming and Triathlon.
Proudest moment: “One specific accomplishment that I am proud of is that I was the first person in Swift Current to win an individual medal at Mansask Championships. Mansask is a high-level swim meet with swimmers that must qualify across Canada. I won the bronze medal in the 1500m, at the age of 13.”
What it means to Elliot to be a Torchbearer: “Being one of the torchbearers for the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games means a lot to me! The experience seems amazing, to be doing this with obviously some amazing other people that have accomplished a lot in their lives as well. I have a passion for sports and community involvement, whether its participating, watching, or just helping.”



Eve Boss

Occupation: SCCHS Student

Torchbearer Role: Walk

Eve remains very active in her school by participating in sports, music, drama, arts and different student leadership roles. She loves participating in school spirit days and enjoys being involved in community events such as entering a team in the Swift Current SK Ability Bowl A Thon. She has done this for the last three years!
Proudest moment: “I represented and competed in the Wymark School Oratory finals, the 2019 Skills Canada Photography contest and also qualified to run in the High School Provincials for cross country running.
What it means to Eve to be a Torchbearer: “I am extremely proud to be selected as a 2019 WCSG Torchbearer that represents “connecting people, connecting communities, and building excitement” hosted in my home city of Swift Current.”



Lindsay Alliban

Occupation: Community Development Coordinator

Torchbearer Role: Run/Walk

Self Proclaimed Rural enthusiast, Lindsay Alliban works hard to be an active member of many communities and spends most of her time playing recreational sports and attending live music events. Creating revitalized community atmospheres in rural villages and towns is a passion of Lindsay’s. Her work portrays the value she holds in the quality of life found in rural Saskatchewan and believes in the success of rural people and businesses. Lindsay is grateful to have had opportunities to work on unique projects such as the Chinook International High School Program, Renewable Energy Community Projects, Youth Outreach and on provincial and community recreation and culture committees.
Proudest moment: Being nominated for a Saskatchewan Spirit award for the YWCA Saskatoon Women of Distinction 2019.
What it means to Lindsay to be a Torchbearer: “I believe this is a way to represent my community and our achievements at this significant event which showcases the entire Southwest and what a tremendous regional community we have.”



Rosalie Flynn

Occupation: Retired Physical Education Teacher from Chinook School Division

Torchbearer Duty: Walk

Sports play a major role in Rosalie’s life as an athlete, coach and volunteer.
She excelled in the sport of “Athletics” as a High School athlete at Vanier Collegiate in Moose Jaw, to a successful five-year career with the University of Saskatchewan Track and Field Team.  Rosalie was an accomplished sprinter at the following distances; 50m, 100m, 200m and 300m. Other successes include:
March 3rd, 1981, a member of the U of S women’s 4x100m relay team to set a new Canadian record and new Saskatchewan Open record
March of 1981 selected the “Outstanding Female Performer” at the CWUAA Championships
March of 1981, receipt of the “Ethel Catherwood Award” for Female Athlete of the Year at the U of S
Proudest moment: “During my teaching career, I was the recipient of two Provincial Awards of Distinction; SHSAA Award of Merit for outstanding contribution in the area of High School Athletics for Saskatchewan and the Paul Renwick Award from the Saskatchewan Physical Education Association for outstanding contribution in the area Physical Education for Saskatchewan.”
What it means to Rosalie to be a Torchbearer: “It is an honor to be nominated and chosen for the “Share the Spirit” Torch relay, based on my athletic, coaching and volunteer accomplishments.”



Scott Joseph

Occupation: Student

Torchbearer Role: Walk/Run

Proudest moment: “I was recognized for my accomplishments in Field events from the past year. At the Saskatchewan Athletics’ annual awards night, I was named the Bob Adams Foundation ‘Youth (U18) Male Field Athlete of the Year’. I represented Team Sask. at the Western Canadian Tri-Province Championship.”
What it means to Scott to be a Torchbearer: “I am proud to represent and compete in my hometown.

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