CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – Comox Valley’s top Indigenous athletes were honoured Nov. 27.

The 2018 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth went to eight local youth athletes from Vancouver Island.

The awards ceremony took place as part of a formal celebration held at the Wei Wai Kum First Nation Thunderbird Hall in Campbell River.

Vancouver Island is the sixth and final of the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council’s (I·SPARC) six regions to honour Indigenous athletes through this unique province-wide awards program.

In collaboration with the provincial government, I·SPARC, launched the regional nomination process in August and received nominations from across the B.C. for Indigenous athletes ages 25 and under 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.

Three recipients hail from the Comox Valley.

The 2018 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport – Comox Valley recipients were:

  • Sierra Murphy, Grade 12 (age 17), Volleyball, Métis Nation BC  (Mark R. Isfeld);
  • Cameron Christison, Grade 12 (age 17) Volleyball, Basketball, Hockey, Track & Field, Beaver First Nation (Highland Secondary); and
  • Knowlton Griffiths, Grade 10 (age 15), Snowboarding, Selkirk First Nation (Highland Secondary)

“I’m very proud to support these awards, which provide much-deserved recognition for our top young Indigenous athletes,” B.C. Premier John Horgan said. “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 The Honourable Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “I hope these awards will encourage them to keep pursuing their dreams on and off the field of play.”

“This unique awards program is a good partnership, and a great way to show how well our young people have done,” said Mildred Price, Vancouver Island Regional Co-Lead for I·SPARC.  “We are pleased to honour their success in sport, in school, and in their communities.”

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 being held in Port Alberni from March 19 to 22, 2019.

The Vancouver Island is the final region to host a formal celebration to honour their 2018 Regional Premier’s Awards recipients.