Merritt, BC (November 4, 2019) – The 2019 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport were presented last night to six outstanding Indigenous youth athletes from British Columbia’s Interior Region. The Regional Awards were presented during a formal celebration held at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in Merritt, BC. The Interior is the third 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 2019, receiving close to 130 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 36 recipients were chosen within I·SPARC’s six regions – Fraser, Interior, Northeast, Northwest, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island.
The 2019 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport – Interior Regional Recipients
- Hanna Sault-Hartwick,16, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
- Jade Wynne, age 13, Karate (Kumite), Nlaka’pamux Nation
- Kanani Coon, age 14, Basketball, Enoch Cree Nation
- Connor Kaboni, age 16, Lacrosse, Nipissing First Nation
- Emma Guertin, age 17, Trampoline Gymnastics, Sprint Kayak, Métis Nation BC
- Jonathan Fraser-Monroe, age 15, Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball, Tla-Amin Nation
“Congratulations to each of the 36 talented athletes selected as regional award recipients this year,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Your extraordinary achievements in sport and school and as community leaders are an inspiration to everyone in B.C. I wish you the very best as you continue to strive for greatness in athletics and beyond.”
“We are proud to recognize the outstanding achievements of our recipients in the Interior,” said Bruce Baptiste, Interior Regional Lead for I·SPARC. “These young role models have dedicated their time to achieve excellence and we look forward to their continued success.”
“For me, as an Indigenous woman, there is power in realizing that you are strong. That you are not weak if you fall down. There is power as a people in realizing that we are all descendants from warriors and that sport is an extension of that,” said Hannah Sault-Hartwick, Interior Regional Recipient.
These Regional recipients automatically serve as nominees for the Provincial Awards selected in early 2020. 10 Provincial Recipients will be awarded at the Gathering Our Voices Opening Ceremony in Kamloops on March 16, 2020 and go on display at the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
Throughout November, the three remaining regions will host formal celebrations to honour their 2019 Regional Premier’s Awards recipients.