Several athletes from Tsq’escenemc First Nation (Canim Lake Band) have taken the first step in the qualifying process for the North American Indigenous Games in Nova Scotia next year.
Ten athletes, aged nine to 15, attended the Jack Brow Memorial Meet this past weekend in Kelowna. They competed in a variety of events, including high jump, long jump, shot put, discus, javelin, short and long-distance running and relay.
Tish Diamond, recreation coordinator for Tsq’escenemc First Nation, said the competition was strong but the youth all did very well bringing home gold, silver and bronze medals.
“It was amazing to watch them,” she said.
Training for the young athletes had been interrupted by the pandemic. However, Diamond noted that even though they did not have the time needed to properly train and prepare for the meet, they were still interested in competing and seeing how they fared.
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She said the Canim Lake Band and chief and council are committed to developing and offering community-based sports, recreation and fitness programs to all community members. In addition, they want to develop community awareness of sports and recreation opportunities both at the recreation and competitive level.
On Tuesday, a group of youth also headed to Kamloops Tuesday for mountain bike lessons at the Kamloops Bike Ranch.
The bike program has been offered by the community for at least seven years now.
The North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) 2023 will take place July 15-23 in Halifax.
The games will offer 16 different sports, allowing athletes to compete as well as share socially and culturally.