Marc St. Jules
Special to the Record
One of Canada’s brightest stars is shining gold and returning to the Comox Valley once again to raise food, money and clothing for the Comox Valley Food Bank.
Cincinnati Reds’ pitching prospect Kyle Lotzkar will also be talking to student athletes about goal-setting and what it takes to stay on track in order to follow your dreams and how to avoid or deal with obstacles as they arise.
Lotzkar, who recently turned 22, pitched Canada to a gold medal in baseball on his birthday last month at the Pan Am Games in Mexico.
Marc St. Jules, Lotzkar’s friend and longtime trainer, says it’s working with young athletes such as Kyle that he misses the most about his sports fitness business. “Kyle started working with me in Grade 6…at the end of Grade 7 I had him putting pen to paper with his goals and he’s managed to manifest everything to date.”
Career highlights for the South Delta Senior Secondary grad include hitting a grand slam for Canada at the age of 12 in the World Series against Japan. His ability to handle pressure started early and he hasn’t turned back. “Kyle was a first round draft pick (53rd overall in 2007) and had some decisions to make about taking the pro route or going to college on a full ride scholarship,” St. Jules said.
“Kyle passed on school and paid his dues and tooks some lumps in minor ball, including coming back and dominating from a potential career-ending elbow surgery. Kyle’s comeback and complete domination for Canada landed him a spot on the Reds’ 40-man roster for next season.
“It’s Kyle’s attitude that brought him back bigger, stronger and better than ever.” St. Jules says Lotzkar is living proof in the old saying, “believe and achieve.”
“Kyle’s attitude was so positive and upbeat when we spoke on the phone about his injury and decision to have surgery. He’s an old soul, yet only 22. Kyle doesn’t say too much he just believes in himself and forges his own path,” St. Jules said.
“It’s a gift to the Comox Valley athletic community for girls and boys of all sports aged 10ish-16ish to come and meet Kyle, hear him talk and be inspired to follow their dreams. Kyle will be at BodyNetix (2260 Cousins Rd., Courtenay) on Friday, Dec. 9 from 3-4 p.m.
“Your $5 donation to the food bank and any non-perishable food items and/or clean blankets and clothing gets you in the door to meet and hear Kyle speak about the road to the big leagues, playing for your country, goal setting, visualization, staying on track, overcoming obstacles and how to avoid the most common situations teenage athletes face, particualrly Grade 9-12,” St. Jules said.
“Kyle will also be signing hats, clothing, balls and what have you so bring your gear. With your $5 donation you will also receive a free trial session in the Wednesday afternoon youth athlete development program at BodyNetix. Parents are also encouraged to come down and meet this rising star and will have the option to participate in a BodyNetix class.”
On Saturday, Dec. 10 Lotzkar will be in Comox at the Purple Onion Deli (146 Port Augusta Ave.) from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and invites friends and fans to come down for a bowl of soup and sandwich. He will be taking time for photo opportunities and signings. A small cash donation, non-perishable food items, clean blankets and clothing is encouraged.
St. Jules said both BodyNetix and the Purple Onion will match the money and food raised for the food bank. This is the second time Lotzkar has come to the Comox Valley to raise food, money and awareness for those less fortunate in what is a very difficult time for many families during the holidays.
“I think of it as Crosby helping Canada win gold in hockey…well Kyle was part of a team effort that led Canada to the gold in baseball,” St. Jules said. “He is the future of baseball and a true leader on and off the sport. Take this opportunity to meet a Canadian hero and support a great cause.”