Vernon’s Jonathan Fraser-Monroe (centre, with his two moms Gladys Fraser, left, and Sheila Monroe) is one of six Interior region recipients of Premier’s Award for Indigenous youth excellence in sport. He has also been named to B.C.’s U16 boys basketball team that will compete at the 2020 North American Indigenous Games in Halifax. (Photo submitted)

Vernon multi-sport athlete cracks Team BC roster, wins major award

Jonathan Fraser-Monroe, 15, will compete at North American Indigenous Games in 2020

Everything Jonathan Fraser-Monroe does, he gives 100 per cent.

He did it as a former competitive dancer. He does it as a basketball, volleyball and soccer athlete. He does it as a junior basketball player helping coach the Grade 8 team at his high school.

Fraser-Monroe is driven to succeed, and that drive has not gone unnoticed.

In November, the Grade 10 Seaton Secondary student was named to Team BC’s U16 boys’ basketball team that will compete in 2020 in the North American Indigenous Games in Halifax.

“It felt really good to be named to the team,” said Fraser-Monroe, 15. “I’ve been working a lot to get on to something of this calibre. I feel like I’ve made a team and achieved something that will push me harder to get better.

“I’m excited. It will be really cool competing against some of the top guys around North America in a beautiful part of Canada. It’s going to be incredible.”

(Jonathan Fraser-Monroe portion of video starts at 2:31)

Fraser-Monroe was also one of six Interior recipients of the 2019 Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sports, presented by the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I-SPARC) in Merritt. All regional award recipients become automatic nominees for the provincial Awards selected in early 2020.

Ten 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.

“The award is really nice,” he said. “I’ve worked so hard for everything. I want to succeed so it’s nice to receive this award, and it’s nice that Indigenous kids are getting more recognition and support in general.”

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.

Fraser-Monroe, from the Tla-Amin Nation near Powell River, also excels in volleyball – he was Junior Male Athlete of the Year and Team MVP with the SKY volleyball club in Vernon, and was called up by Seaton’s senior boys’ team to play in the 2019 provincial championship – and soccer. Fraser-Monroe helped Vernon Tolko United U15s win the B.C. championship earlier this year.

He also participated in the Ride To Conquer Cancer charity cycling event and raised more than $1,500.

Fraser-Monroe, who lives with his two moms, Gladys Fraser and Sheila Monroe (his father is Dr. Evan Adams, chief medical officer for the First Nations Health Authority), said the decision to help coach the Grade 8 boys team at Seaton was the result of having been impacted by a lot of different coaches over his young athletic career, and to see the game from the other side of the basketball lines.

“I wanted to give something back to my community,” said Fraser-Monroe, who hasn’t decided what he’d like to do in the future, though working in the sports industry and continuing to be an ambassador for Indigenous sport is high on his list.


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