Richard Celesta brings home 2016 Premier’s Award for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport

Interior honours recipients of the 2016 Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport

Standing: Bruce Baptiste

Standing: Bruce Baptiste

Kamloops, B.C. (November 29, 2016) – The 2016 Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport were presented this evening to eight outstanding Aboriginal youth athletes from British Columbia’s Interior region. The awards were presented by Gordon Hogg, Parliamentary Secretary for Youth Sport, during a formal celebration held at the Moccasin Square Gardens. The Interior region is the last of the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council’s six regions to honour Aboriginal athletes through this prestigious province-wide awards program.

The Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council, in collaboration with the Province of British Columbia, launched the regional nomination process in September 2016, receiving more than 130 nominations from across the province for Aboriginal athletes under 25 years of age who have achieved excellence in performance sport, are regarded for their leadership qualities, are committed to higher education, and are recognized as community role models both on and off the field of play.

A total of 47 recipients were chosen within the Partners Council’s six regions – Northeast, Northwest, Interior, Fraser, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island.

The 2016 Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport – Interior Regional Recipients

Brianna Kelly, age 17, Downhill Mountain Biking, Leq’á:mel First Nation

Ethan Joe, age 16, Hockey, Splatsin, Secwepemc Nation

Brooklyn Tanner, age 14, Archery, Osoyoos Indian Band

Kalezafar Lawrence, age 15, Lacrosse, Métis Nation BC

Hayden Craig, age 20, Basketball, Softball, Métis Nation BC

Richard Celesta, age 17, Rugby, Snowboarding, Softball, Simpcw First Nation

Lyndzie Caron, age 17, Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball, Métis Nation BC

Ryan Ignace, age 18, Hockey, Skeetchestn Indian Band

“It’s an honour to recognize these amazing Aboriginal athletes through the Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport,” said Gordon Hogg, Parliamentary Secretary for Youth Sport to the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. “Their accomplishments and dedication to their communities and their sports is what distinguishes them as some of the best youth athletes in B.C.’s Interior region. Congratulations to this year’s recipients.”

“We are proud to recognize the outstanding achievements of our athletes in the Interior region,” said Bruce Baptiste, Regional Lead for the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council’s Interior Region. “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. Provincial recipients will be presented with their award at Gathering our Voices National Aboriginal Youth Conference in Kelowna March 21 – 24, 2017.

Throughout November, the Partners Council’s six regions hosted formal celebrations to honour their 2016 Regional Premier’s Awards recipients.

The Partners Council is a consortium of the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, the First Nations Health Authority, and the Métis Nation BC. As the stewards of BC’s Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Strategy, the Partners Council works with First Nations, Aboriginal communities and other sport and physical activity stakeholders to deliver community-based programs designed to promote active lifestyles and support the desire for transformative change in the health and well-being of Aboriginal communities, families and individuals across BC. For more information, please visit: www.aboriginalsportbc.ca.