Two Kingston-bred athletes are members of the Canadian team at the 20th Commonwealth Games, which opened Wednesday in Glasgow.
Field hockey player Kate Gillis and wrestler Cleopas Ncube are among 265 athletes representing Canada at the Games, which will run through Aug. 3 with competition in 23 sports.
Gillis, who will turn 25 in Scotland, was Field Hockey Canada’s player of the year in 2013. The daughter of Mike Gillis, the former Kingston Canadian and Vancounver Canucks general manager, and Diane Gillis, a national team long jumper and one-time track coach at Queen’s University, Gillis was a two-time all-Canadian at University of British Columbia.
A graduate of Regiopolis Notre Dame, Gillis has played 103 international games. She was a member of the Canadian team that won the bronze medal at the 2013 Pan Am Cup tournament.
Ncube, 30, won his first national senior championship in 2006 but this will be his debut at a major international Games. Also a Regiopolis Notre Dame graduate, the reigning national champion in the 74-kilogram division now lives in Montreal.
He will contest his first match of the three-day wrestling tournament Tuesday, July 29.
Field hockey competition begins Thursday when Canada plays India on the first day of in a nine-team women’s tournament where New Zealand, England and Australia are the top-ranked teams, internationally.
There are two other Kingston connections on the Canadian team in Scotland: Athletics coach Dave Scott-Thomas is a former track and cross-country coach at Queen’s, and Paul Ragusa, a 1996 Olympian, grew up in Kingston on his way to a silver medal at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria.
A graduate of Holy Cross Secondary School, Ragusa coached Canadian athletes at the Olympics of 2008 and 2012. Now a coach with the Dinos Wrestling Club in Calgary, Ragusa has three of his athletes in Glasgow: Brittanee Laverdure, Jasmine Mian and Erica Wiebe. All are reigning national champions in their respective weight classes.