By Jasminee Sahoye
It’s a dream for many athletes – even more so for teens in competitive sports – to be a torchbearer for a national games. For Kiran Armand Ganness, 18, who is of Trinidadian heritage, being chosen as a Pan Am Games torchbearer in the relay is a delight.
Ganness, who played soccer for 11 years including competitively for four years, will carry the torch on June 6 in Ajax.
Ganness has excelled in soccer, receiving 20 trophies and three medals and a Sportsmanship Award.
“My position has always been midfield and the teams I played on were Wexford, Olympic flames and Goliaths. Most times my teams went to the finals,” he told The Camera in an email.
He added “I was also given a prestigious leadership role as a protocol assistant in the opening and closing ceremonies of both the Pan Am and Para Pan Am Games.”
The elated first-year U of T computer science student said that as a protocol assistant, “I will work alongside the athletes, dignitaries and the production crews of Cirque du Soleil and B5C.”
He further explained, “My career goal is to be an innovator for the future either by designing more efficient high-tech gadgets and making them easier for people to use and or working for a large company such as Google or Space X.”
Born to a Trinidadian father and grandparents, Ganness said his involvement in sports has helped him stay “grounded, fit and healthy” and his mother Usha and grandmother Ruby Ramdial have been a source of strength in his life’s journey.
He explained that his mother introduced him to many extra-curricular activities such as gymnastics, ice-skating, golf, basketball, volleyball, tennis, pool, ballroom, dancing, swimming and soccer, at a very young age.
This teenager has made a name for himself in many respects.
For 15 years he was with the Olympian Swimming School and “swam pre-competitively for seven years.” At age 16, he received the National Lifeguard Service certificate with Standard First Aid and CPR ‘C’ certification.
The torch relay for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games will be a 41-day journey across Canada that will share the Games spirit in more than 130 communities. The flame will be lit in Teotihuacan, Mexico, before it travels to Canada.
The torch relay will start in Canada on May 30 and will make its final stop on July 10 at the opening ceremony of the Games in Toronto. A total of 3,000 torchbearers will carry the flame 5,000 km by road, with a future 15,000 km travelled by plane, train and ferry boat.