Provincial Recipients Announced for 2020 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport
Ten Outstanding Indigenous Athletes Receive Prestigious Award
Traditional Territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples / Victoria B.C. (October 21, 2021) – The Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I·SPARC) is pleased to announce 10 outstanding athletes named as provincial recipients of the 2020 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport.
- Hillary Birkett: 13 / Figure Skating and Track & Field / Surrey / Métis Nation BC
- Colton Cameron: 18 / Hockey, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, Track & Field, and Ultimate Frisbee / Surrey / Métis Nation BC
- Grace Currie: 18 / Softball / Quesnel / North Central Métis
- Ellashani George, Ḵaḵa̱so’las: 16 / War Canoe and Soccer / Duncan / Kwikwasut’inuxw, Ławitʼsis and Oneida
- Clinton Kaboni: 18 / Field Lacrosse and Cross-Country / Merritt / Nipissing First Nation
- Aidan Lenhart-Baker: 25 / Lacrosse / West Vancouver / Squamish Nation
- Kendrick Lounsbury: 16 / Football / Surrey / Namgis First Nation
- Olivia Lounsbury: 18 / Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, Track & Field, Swimming, and Badminton / Chilliwack / Tahltan Nation
- Kieran McKay: 22 / Lacrosse / Vancouver / Michel Band
- Taya Suttill: 18 / Soccer and Basketball / Surrey / Métis Nation BC
The Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I·SPARC) honoured the 2020 Premier’s Awards provincial recipients with a special event held over Zoom yesterday evening. The celebration included a pre-recorded video presentation held at the BC Sports Hall of Fame hosted by Blake Price, Canadian sports broadcaster. The event was also live streamed on I·SPARC’s Facebook page. The pre-recorded celebration video is now available on I·SPARC’s YouTube channel and can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/rULZ2ux8_k0. To continue honouring and uplifting the provincial award recipients, each athlete will have their photo and biography on display at the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
“Each recipient embodies the qualities of a leader, is connected to their community and is committed to their studies and future goals. These outstanding athletes have demonstrated perseverance and commitment to their sport during this challenging time,” said Corinne McKay President of I·SPARC Board of Directors. “Congratulations to all of you. We wish you the best with your future goals and are honoured to celebrate with you as you continue to excel and make your families and communities proud.”
In collaboration with the Province of British Columbia, I·SPARC launched the regional nomination process for the Premier’s Awards in late 2020, receiving nominations from each of I·SPARC’s six regions (Fraser, Interior, Northeast, Northwest, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island). Nominations were open for Indigenous athletes under the age of 25 who have competed in high performance sport, demonstrated a commitment to their education and culture, and have promoted healthy and active lifestyles. Six athletes were selected from each region (Northeast and Northwest were combined this year), resulting in 30 regional recipients. Of the 30 regional recipients, 10 athletes were selected as provincial recipients for the Provincial Awards.
“Sports have had a profound impact on my life and make a positive difference in the lives of young athletes across the province,” said Premier John Horgan. “Every young person is capable of achieving great things. This year’s recipients stand out both on and off the field, as exceptional athletes and community leaders. We are proud to recognize these high-achieving young athletes as part of our province’s commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.”
“I’m incredibly proud of this year’s outstanding recipients,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “These awards are reconciliation in action and it is so important that we celebrate and honour these 10 remarkable young people whose athletic talents, character and commitment to their community have made them shine as leaders and role models. Congratulations and keep reaching for the stars.”
About the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council
The Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (I·SPARC) is a provincial organization established with the purpose of improving the health outcomes of Indigenous peoples by supporting and encouraging physically active individuals, families, and communities. The programs and services delivered by I·SPARC are designed to build capacity and increase access to sport, recreation, and physical activity in First Nations communities, Métis Chartered Communities, Aboriginal Friendship Centres, schools, and other delivery agencies throughout British Columbia. For more information, please visit: www.isparc.ca.
Manager, Communications and Recognition Programs