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Local girl competing at

Junior Olympics in California

submitted photo
Jailynn Rintjema, 8, poses for a picture in her Team Canada jersey and ball cap in Corona, California where she is competing in roller hockey at the Junior Olympics.
by Wendy Spence
THE SIGNPOST

        A Dorchester family is enjoying both a special sporting event and a vacation. Jailynn Rintjema, 8, is participating in the 2018 AAU Junior Olympics in Corona, California, and four of her five family members are there to cheer her on and enjoy the experience. The Dorchester girl is proudly representing the village and the country as part of the U8 national roller hockey team. Live streaming of games is available at: aauinline.rsportz.com (AAU8 girls). At press time, the team had a win and a loss.
        “I can’t believe it’s happening,” said Jailynn’s very proud mother, Amanda. “I get all teary thinking about it. What an honour.” This is the first time that Canada is sending a U8 team to the Junior Olympics.
        Jailynn is quite ambitious, with goals of playing regular hockey on the national women’s team and eventually she hopes to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
        “I enjoy that I’m with all my friends playing and that my parents come and watch me. The roller hockey has taken me to the next level in my career.” Besides suiting up with Roller Hockey London (RHL), Jailynn has also played hockey with the London Devilettes.
        Roller hockey is similar to regular hockey, but players wear inline skates and they aren’t able to glide, turn or stop as smoothly as when wearing ice skates. RHL is in its first year at Argyle Arena the website describes the sport as a fast paced and free flowing game. It says that playing roller hockey will turn a good hockey player into a great one and it is known to be safer and more enjoyable.
        Although Jailynn gets very nervous leading up to competitions, she tried out for the national roller hockey team in May in Oakville. “I thought it would be a really good learning experience,” she said.
        Team members’ families were required to raise almost all of the money required to attend the Junior Olympics. Some held 50/50 draws and set up GoFundMe pages to help cover their costs. The Rintjemas hope to have a barbecue for family and friends once they return from California.
        Amanda said that at first, only her husband was going to attend. “In reality you think, how does one parent go and one not go?” Each of the family members checked luggage included a piece of Jailynn’s equipment. The focus was mainly on the competition from July 8 to 12. “The itinerary is pretty tight.” The family had a couple of days before it started to enjoy vacation time and they will for two days afterwards as well. They stayed in San Diego, which is on the Pacific coast of the U.S., then made their way to Corona, which is inland. Amanda said the temperature was a comfortable 83 F and went up to 113 F where the competition was held. Some of the highlights included going to the beach and staying at the Legoland resort to enjoy the attractions there. Jailynn will be able to enjoy some unscheduled time to just relax, have fun and maybe indulge in some fun foods that she had to eliminate from her diet leading up to the competition.
        She was advised to stay hydrated by drinking about a gallon of water a day and to eat foods high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fat. It wasn’t too difficult because Jailynn enjoys eating tuna and crackers, even for breakfast, and hard boiled eggs. When Dorchester resident Steve Ryall coached Jailynn in hockey, he always reinforced the importance of a healthy diet to get the best results.
        Amanda said she’s usually pretty relaxed but admitted to being a “helicopter parent” for a few weeks to make sure Jailynn wouldn’t get injured before the trip.
        Amanda is very proud of Jailynn and said she is very committed to sports, rarely missing a practice and paying attention. Sometimes she has to make sacrifices, such as not being able to hang out with her friends and missing birthday parties. “I’m so busy as just a kid,” said Jailynn.
        Her parents are busy too, shuttling their children to activities and sometimes it’s necessary to “divide and conquer,” as Amanda called it. “If they have a dream and want to do something, that’s what we’re (parents) here for.”

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