Canoe Kayak BC has joined a partnership with the BC Games Society and the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I·SPARC) along with Basketball BC and the BC Lacrosse Association to expand pathways for Indigenous athletes, coaches and officials at the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games.
Building on the inclusion of Indigenous athletes in the sport of archery at the BC Winter Games, the goal of this partnership is to create increased advancement opportunities for Indigenous athletes to compete in basketball, canoe/kayak, and box lacrosse at the BC Summer Games. With this experience, athletes can increase their potential to move forward to compete at future events such as the North American Indigenous Games or the Canada Summer Games.
“This opportunity for Indigenous athletes and coaches is an extension of a long standing partnership we have with I·SPARC. More athletes and coaches attending a BC Games provides for greater competition and coaching development, while exposing young people to a multi-sport environment assisting them on their own sport pathway.” said Kelly Mann, President and CEO of the BC Games Society.
Regional Indigenous Trials for canoe/kayak athletes are scheduled for Vancouver Island, Cultus Lake and Canim Lake. Athletes selected to zone teams will compete at the 2018 BC Summer Games on Cowichan Lake from July 19-22. I·SPARC will assist with the identification and targeting of potential athletes.
“The evolution of this partnership is showing true leadership in creating a more inclusive, welcoming sport system and one that provides increased competitive opportunities for Indigenous athletes. We are extremely excited to join with these partners to create a unique experience for Indigenous athletes and coaches at the upcoming BC Summer Games and to continue to work together and grow the opportunities for Indigenous athletes and coaches in the future.” said Rick Brant, Executive Director of I·SPARC.
The athletes will compete in fully integrated multi-discipline paddling events: canoe (singles, doubles and fours), kayak (singles, doubles, and fours) and a whitewater slalom event. Also included in the BC Summer Games are para events for athletes with a disability.
“The BC Summer Games are a great event for young paddlers as they begin their competitive careers,” said CKBC’s Development Coordinator Gillian Fedechko. “It’s exciting to increase the number of athletes, coaches and officials who will experience the Games.”
The 2018 BC Summer Games take place in the Cowichan Valley July 19-22 and will include up to 3723 participants from across BC competing in 18 sports. Indigenous athletes interested in the BC Summer Games opportunities can contact I·SPARC at www.isparc.ca.