Okanagan teens win B.C. Indigenous sport awards

They are rodeo performers. They’re hockey players. They compete in basketball, baseball and snow-based sports.

And now, B.C. Indigenous youth have received awards for their athletic achievements.

The B.C. Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I·SPARC) gave awards to 47 teens in 2018.

“They are individuals who are doing amazing things in the field of play but they’re also doing incredible things back home in their communities,” I-SPARC executive director Rick Brant said.

“They’re serving as role models, promoting sport, recreation, physical activity, healthy lifestyles and are individuals who have embraced their culture and work hard day in and day out in their community and their sport.”

Renay Willier, a 15-year-old basketball player, was among eight from the B.C. Interior who were honoured with a Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport at a ceremony in Penticton this week.

“I’m pretty proud of myself for getting here,” Willier, a member of the Sucker Creek Band and resident of the Westbank First Nation said.

B.C. Interior award winners also included:

  • Jordyn Elliott, 14, Basketball, Williams Lake Indian Band
  • Lincoln Yarama, 16, Rodeo, Hockey, Trap Shoot, Adams Lake Indian Band
  • James Hamming, 17, Snowboard Cross, Splatsin
  • Emma Guertin, 16, Trampoline Gymnastics, Canoe Kayak, Métis
  • Jadyn Johnston, 14, Swimming, Tsilhoqot’in & Carrier
  • Brianna Billy, 15, Softball, Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band
  • Brendan Mucha, 18, Baseball, Hockey, Métis Nation BC

“I’m very proud to support these awards, which provide much-deserved recognition for our top young Indigenous athletes,” said Premier John Horgan.

“It’s great to see these young champions achieving top results in such a wide variety of sports.”

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