Kamloops paddler honoured with Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport award

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Kamloops Canoe & Kayak Club paddler, Emma Guertin, has been chosen as one of 47 regional recipients of the 2018 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. The award was presented on November 8 to Guertin and seven other outstanding Indigenous youth athletes from British Columbia’s Interior Region.

Guertin, a 16-year old Métis youth, had an outstanding paddling season. She qualified for the 2018 sprint nationals where she competed in seven events and finished 9th in the U19 K-2 200 final. She also represented the Thompson-Okanagan (Zone 2) at the 2018 BC Summer Games. In seven events, she won three medals (one silver, two bronze).

In addition to competing in sprint canoe kayak, she is also a decorated trampoline gymnast who represents the Kamloops Gymnastics & Trampoline Club.

The awards were presented during a formal celebration held at the Outma Sqilx’W Cultural School in Penticton, 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.

SPARC, in collaboration with the Province of British Columbia, launched the regional nomination process in August 2018, receiving 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 47 recipients were chosen within I·SPARC’s six regions – Northeast, Northwest, Interior, Fraser, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island.

The 2018 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport – Interior Regional Recipients

  • Jordyn Elliott, age 14, Basketball, Williams Lake Indian Band
  • Lincoln Yarama, age 16, Rodeo, Hockey, Trap Shoot, Adams Lake Indian Band
  • Renay Willier, age 15, Fastpitch, Baseball, Sucker Creek Band
  • James Hamming, age 17, Snowboard Cross, Splatsin
  • Emma Guertin, age 16, Trampoline Gymnastics, Canoe Kayak, Métis
  • Jadyn Johnston, age 14, Swimming, Tsilhoqot’in & Carrier
  • Brianna Billy, age 15, Softball, Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band
  • Brendan Mucha, age 18, Baseball, Hockey, Métis Nation BC

“I’m very proud to support these awards, which provide much-deserved recognition for our top young Indigenous athletes,” said Premier John Horgan. “It’s great to see these young champions achieving top results in such a wide variety of sports.”

“These talented young athletes are rising stars in their sports and role models in their communities,” said Minister Lisa Beare. “I hope these awards will encourage them to keep pursuing their dreams on and off the field of play.”

“We are proud to recognize the outstanding achievements of our First Nations and Métis athletes in the Interior,” said Bruce Baptiste, Interior Regional Lead for I·SPARC. “The recipients we have honoured tonight have dedicated their time to achieving excellence and we look forward to the continued success of these young role models.”

These regional recipients automatically serve as nominees for the provincial awards. A total of 12 Provincial Awards (six male and six female) will be selected in January 2019. Provincial recipients will be presented with their award at Gathering our Voices: Indigenous Youth Leadership Forum in Port Alberni March 19-22, 2019.

Throughout November, the three remaining regions will host formal celebrations to honour their 2018 Regional Premier’s Awards recipients.

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