The 2019 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport were presented last night to six outstanding Indigenous youth athletes from British Columbia’s Northwest Region. The Regional Awards were presented during a formal celebration held at the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre in Hazelton, BC. The Northwest is the first of the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council’s (I·SPARC) six regions to honour Indigenous athletes through this unique province-wide awards program.

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.

A total of 36 recipients were chosen within I·SPARC’s six regions – Fraser, Interior, Northeast, Northwest, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island.

The 2019 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport – Northwest Regional Recipients

  • Olivia Woods, age 14, Taekwondo, Nisga’a Nation (Terrace)
  • Lando Ball, age 13, Karate, Tahltan Nation (Telkwa)
  • Irene Stevens, 17, Basketball, Volleyball, Gitlaxt’aamiks (Terrace)
  • Destin Starlund, age 14, Soccer, Gitanyow (Kitwanga)
  • Samantha Wiley, age 15, Fastpitch, Hockey, Haida Nation (Prince Rupert / Prince George)
  • Devan Boyko, age 17, Basketball, Cross Country Running, Haida Nation (Old Massett)

“Congratulations to each of the 36 talented athletes selected as regional award recipients this year,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Your extraordinary achievements in sport and school and as community leaders are an inspiration to everyone in B.C. I wish you the very best as you continue to strive for greatness in athletics and beyond.”

“The recipients from our region deserve this prestigious award for their hard work, in sport, at school, within their culture and communities,” said DeWayne Robinson, Northwest Regional Lead for I·SPARC. “Their goals in life clear and achievable towards great futures as leaders.”

These Regional recipients automatically serve as nominees for the Provincial Awards selected in early 2020. 10 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.

Throughout October and November, the five remaining regions will host formal celebrations to honour their 2019 Regional Premier’s Awards recipients.