Athletes from Merritt and Kamloops are among six Interior recipients of 2020 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport.
Receiving the awards are James Hamming, a 20-year-old snowboard-cross racer from Kamloops who belongs to the Splatsin First Nation, and Clinton Kaboni, an 18-year-old field lacrosse player and cross-country runner from Merritt who belongs to the Nipissing First Nation.
“I’d like to thank my coaches, my teammates and especially my family,” Kaboni said in an acceptance speech posted on YouTube.
“This award is important to me because I want to promote change within my culture and community and just bring about values of success.”
The awards are handed out by the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I·SPARC), in collaboration with the provincial government, to Indigenous athletes under 25 who are competing in performance sport and demonstrating a commitment to their education, culture and promoting healthy and active lifestyles.
“I would like to say thank you for this award of excellence in sport,” Hamming said in his acceptance speech. “Thank you to Meghan Hebert for the nomination, thank you to my mother for financial support and thank you to I-SPARC for organizing.”
Over the past week, I·SPARC announced 30 regional recipients of the Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport, each of whom automatically serve as nominees for the provincial awards, which will be handed out later this year.
“Your outstanding achievements are a source of pride, especially for your family, coaches and everyone who has supported and encouraged you along the way,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “This, to me, is reconciliation in action. More than ever in these challenging times, we need young people like you to give us hope. Keep following your dreams and reaching for the stars.”