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Empire Life Article(s)

Fri, 07/21/2023 – 12:34 — Nick Kukucska

A couple summers ago we shared a story on eServices where we introduced you to several talented and aspiring athletes, all of which were Empire Life family members. In the article we met a young BMX racer named Andrew Colling, son of parents Michael, IT Production Support Analyst III and Kerry, Quality Assurance Specialist II. Andrew recently embarked on an exciting experience in Papendal, Netherlands and we wanted to share his continued progression and success in the sport of BMX racing with his first world event.

Andrew’s skills have developed over the years. He is not a natural dare devil which has helped protect him from injury, but makes each advancement more difficult as he has to face the fear of the next hurdle. The biggest challenge was the “pro set”, the larger jumps designed for pro racers that require more speed and balance to be able to jump higher and further. This took a long time to accomplish, not because the task was beyond his ability, but the mental block that he wasn’t able to get past. Getting that first “pro set” under his belt was a long journey, but once he accomplished it, there was no stopping him.

In 2021 Andrew joined Team Ontario and advanced to the next level and raced his first Supercross race, requiring the rider to race the same obstacles as the Pro’s including starting from a larger hill, bigger jumps and can reach speeds of up to 60 kph.

Last year Andrew was nationally ranked #1 in Canada for 16-year-olds. He is now in the Junior Elite Category, which puts him into more international races against the top 17-18 year old racers in the world. Last month, Andrew joined Team Canada on his first world training camp in Papendal, Netherlands to participate in three world event races.

Netherlands Race Results

  • June 18, 2023 – Uithoorn – Dutch National Race

○      17-18 year olds – Junior Elite Main Event – 7th place finish

  • June 24, 2023 – Papendal, Netherlands – World Cup #3

○      Qualifying rounds took top 4 in Round 1 and top 2 in round 2

○      Did not qualify, DQ’d after round 2 (finished 7th place)

  • June 25, 2023 – Papendal, Netherlands – World Cup #4

○      Did not qualify, DQ’d after round 2 (finished 4th place)

  • Andrew’s World Cup Results Stats and Improvement (Day 2 over Day 1)

○      Day 1 (World Cup #3) ChronoRace – Electronic Timing – Applications

■      Competed against 128 riders age 17 to 23

■      Competition fastest lap time: 34.653 seconds

■      2nd Qualifier – last place

■      Gate time: 2.517 seconds

■      Lap time: 40.162 seconds (ranking 123 out of 127)

○      Day 2 (World Cup #4) ChronoRace – Electronic Timing – Applications

■      Competed against 125 riders age 17 to 23

■      Competition fastest lap time: 34.423 seconds

■      2nd Qualifier – 4th place

■      Gate time: 2.438 seconds (100 out of 123)

■      Improvement of 3.14%

■      Lap time: 38.729 seconds (102 out of 119)

■      Improvement of 3.57%

“It was definitely an amazing experience, racing at such a high level like that is incredible and it helped me point out things to improve on. The excitement and adrenaline rush is unlike anything” – Andrew Colling.

To show our appreciation of Andrew’s accomplishments and the contributions of his parents, Michael and Kerry, to Empire Life, we made a small sponsorship towards this event in helping him chase his dreams. Maybe one day we will see him on the Olympic stage!

Andrew has been officially invited to represent Team Canada at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships – BMX Racing in Glasgow, Scotland on July 30, 2023. This is by invitation only and is an amazing honour to represent his country as a Jr. Elite Racer.

Keep going Andrew!



Fri, 08/13/2021 – 11:59 — Jessica Schonewille

There’s a quote that says, “Behind every young child who believes in themself is a parent who believed first.” And that couldn’t be more true for these Empire Life parents. Read on for stories of their children’s accomplishments…


Andrew and Sami Colling
, BMX racers and children of Michael and Kerry Colling

Andrew and Sami on their podiums after recently winning 1st and 3rd in Quebec

At the age of 7, both Andrew (now 15) and Sami (now 14) started BMX racing, and began collecting awards and trophies from competitions all across Ontario, Quebec and the United States. They’re sponsored by C-Yaa Race Bikes, a team out of the US, and Andrew is classified as a factory rider (the highest and most competitive level). Here are some of their highlights:

    • Post-pandemic with the US border closed so far, they have been racing in Quebec where most recently Andrew finished 1st and Sami finished 3rd
    • Pre-pandemic in 2019, both Andrew and Sami qualified to represent Team Canada at the 2020 Worlds BMX Championship in Texas
    • Andrew is a member of Team Ontario and will be competing in the Canadian championships at the end of August in Calgary, AB
    • Andrew and Sami are currently ranked in the top five racers for their ages in Canada. You can follow their racing at https://www.colling-bmx-racing.ca/

Michael, Production Support Analyst II in IT and Kerry, Quality Control III in Retail are continually impressed by their children. “We’re so proud of the hard work, dedication and commitment they apply to their sport. They represent the best of Canadians on and off the track, as proven by all of the friendships they’ve made no matter the location or the language.”