Photo Credit: Melody Charlie. (back row) Wally Samuel, Vancouver Island Co-Lead, I·SPARC, Bryan Baxter, BC Lacrosse Association, Jeannie MacDonald, President, Miki-Siw Métis Association, Rick Lewis, President, Cowichan Valley Métis Nation, Cyndi Stevens, Executive Director, Port Alberni Friendship Center, Alex Nelson, Senior Advisor, I·SPARC, Milly Price, Vancouver Island Co-Lead, I·SPARC,Steven Faryna, Vice-President, Métis Nation of Greater Victoria, Rick Brant, Executive Director, I·SPARC. (seated: Vancouver Island Recipients) Cameron Christison, Hayden Guilderson, Sierra Murphy, Devin Jack, Marieta Kaloucokovale, Maddox Moon, Megan McCool, Knowlton Griffiths.
The 2018 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport were presented last night to eight outstanding Indigenous youth athletes from British Columbia’s Vancouver Island Region. The Awards were presented during a formal celebration held at the Wei Wai Kum First Nation Thunderbird Hall in Campbell River, BC. Vancouver Island is the sixth and final of the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council’s (I·SPARC) six regions to honour Indigenous athletes through this unique province-wide awards program.
I·SPARC, in collaboration with the Province of British Columbia, launched the regional nomination process in August 2018, receiving nominations from across the province for Indigenous athletes under 25 years of age who are competing in performance sport and committed to living healthy, active lifestyles.
A total of 47 recipients were chosen within I·SPARC’s six regions – Northeast, Northwest, Interior, Fraser, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island.
The 2018 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport – Vancouver Island Regional Recipients
- Cameron Christison, age 17, Volleyball, Basketball, Hockey, Track & Field, Beaver First Nation
- Hayden Guilderson, age 21, Hockey, Tzeachten First Nation
- Sierra Murphy, age 17, Volleyball, Métis Nation BC
- Devin Jack, age 19, Soccer, Cowichan Tribes
- Marieta Kaloucokovale, age 17, Basketball, Ahousaht First Nation
- Maddox Moon, age 10, Soccer, Cowichan Tribes
- Megan McCool, age 15, Smallbore Rifle, Métis Nation BC
- Knowlton Griffiths, age 15, Snowboarding, Selkirk First Nation
“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.”
“These talented young athletes are rising stars in their sports and role models in their communities,” said The Honourable Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “I hope these awards will encourage them to keep pursuing their dreams on and off the field of play.”
“This unique awards program is a good partnership, and a great way to show how well our young people have done,” said Mildred Price, Vancouver Island Regional Co-Lead for I·SPARC. “We are pleased to honour their success in sport, in school, and in their communities.”
These Regional recipients automatically serve as nominees for the Provincial Awards. A total of 12 Provincial Awards (six male and six female) will be selected in January 2019. Provincial recipients will be presented with their award at Gathering our Voices: Indigenous Youth Leadership Forum in Port Alberni March 19-22, 2019.
The Vancouver Island is the final region to host a formal celebration to honour their 2018 Regional Premier’s Awards recipients.
About the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council
I·SPARC is a consortium of the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, the First Nations Health Authority, and Métis Nation BC. As the stewards of BC’s Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Strategy, I·SPARC works with First Nations, Métis Chartered Communities, Friendship Centres, schools and other sport and physical activity stakeholders to deliver community-based programs designed to promote active lifestyles and support the desire for transformative change in the health and well-being of Indigenous communities, families and individuals across B.C. For more information, please visit: www.isparc.ca.