Bump and grind all worthwhile

CHRIS OCCHIUZZI -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:14 AM ET

A slew of talented youth descended on the beach at Mooney's Bay yesterday.

From world championship qualifiers to provincial champions, Ontario's best took their acts to the sand on Day 1 of the Ontario Summer Games.

Headlining the show were Ancaster's Tom Podstawka and Georgetown's Duncan Cairns.

The duo is preparing for their trip to the under-19 world championships in Bermuda next month.

At the Canadian tryouts in March, Podstawka and Cairns finished second, earning a berth as Canada 2 at the worlds.

"We've been practising for so long together, we basically know how each other plays," said Podstawka, whose brother Paul represented Canada at the under-21 2005 worlds in Brazil. "We're going to make this the best experience we can."

JOINED FORCES AFTER E-MAIL

The boys got together three years ago when Podstawka e-mailed Cairns about joining forces for a tournament.

"He said 'you know the upcoming beacher's coming up, you look like a pretty all right human being, do you want to come out and hit some balls on the beach,'" said Cairns. "I said 'sure, all right, let's go for it.' "

For this pair, the future is wide open.

"We're going to take it as far as we can, I suppose," said Cairns. "Right now, we get to be internationally ranked, so who knows where we can go from there."

Still, Podstawka and Cairns can't overlook their current competition.

Newly crowned 18-and-under provincial champions Mike Johnson and Taylor Hunt are also gunning for gold at the Games.

Johnson, an 18-year-old from Whitby, has been on the beach scene for five years now.

"My sister used to play a lot and she kind of motivated me," said Johnson, who has played on indoor teams since Grade 6. "It took me a couple of years to get a good partner ... now things are working really well with us."

Hunt, 17, who hails from Brooklin, met Johnson at Donald A. Wilson Secondary School where they played indoor together.

OLYMPIC ASPIRATIONS

Fresh off their weekend win at the provincials, 16-and-under champs Sarah Rosso and Kaitlyn Krizmanich, both 15, are focused on their goal.

"Our goal (at the Games) is top two," said Krizmanich, from Carlisle. "We're going to try and make it to the final (tomorrow)."

How about the Olympics?

"It's one of our goals and dreams, because that would be really cool," said Rosso, from Waterdown.

Following the Games, the teams will set their sights on the national championships being held at Ashbridges Bay in Toronto from Aug. 25-27.

The Summer Games beach volleyball tournament continues today at Mooney's Bay, with the finals set for tomorrow.


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