Two Okanagan Indian Band members are among the 2017 Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport winners.
Jacob Taylor, 16, and William Brewer, 15, are among eight outstanding Aboriginal athletes from British Columbia’s Interior Region that were presented their awards during a formal celebration held at the Adams Lake Recreation Center in Chase.
The Interior is the sixth of six regions to honour Aboriginal athletes through this unique province-wide awards program.
“We are proud to recognize the outstanding achievements of our athletes in the Interior region,” said I·SPARC (Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council) Interior Regional Lead Bruce Baptiste. “The recipients we have honoured have dedicated their time to achieving excellence and we look forward to the continued success of these young role models.”
Taylor won a pair of gold medals in the summer at the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto, finishing first in the discus and setting a new Games record for his age group in javelin.
Brewer, who also excels in snowboarding, helped B.C. finish fifth in U16 male lacrosse at the Games.
A total of 48 recipients have been chosen within I·SPARC’s six regions – Northeast, Northwest, Interior, Fraser, Vancouver Coastal and Vancouver Island. Recipients were selected based on their achievements in performance sport, commitment to pursuing a higher education, demonstrable leadership qualities, volunteerism, and connection to culture.
“The recipients recognized are the mentors, heroes and leaders of the next generation of Aboriginal athletes for the Interior region of our province,” said Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary of Sport and Multiculturalism. “It is important to recognize and celebrate these athletes for their commitment to sport, education and culture. Congratulations.”
These recipients automatically serve as nominees for the Provincial Awards. A total of 12 Provincial Recipients (six male and six female) will be selected in February 2018. Provincial recipients will receive an invitation to attend a special Aboriginal Youth Sport Leadership Forum, held at the Gathering our Voices Indigenous Youth Leadership Training in Richmond from March 20-23, 2018.