The 2019 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport, Vancouver Island Regional Recipients and Receiving Line. Front row, from left: Jada Livingston, Tara Brant (for Ty Brant), Nicola Smith, Aedan Crocker, Emoni Bush, Ty Ludwikowski. Back: Alex Nelson, Elder & Sr. Advisor, I·SPARC; Calvin Swustus Sr., Cowichan Tribes Councillor; Michael Dumont, Minister of Sport, Métis Nation BC; Debbie Williams, Executive Director, Hiiye’yu Lelum (House of Friendship); Bruce Dumont, Cowichan Valley Métis Nation; Richard Lewis, President, Cowichan Valley Métis Nation; Mayor Michelle Staples, City of Duncan; Alan Edkins, Senator, Métis Nation BC; and Rick Brant, Executive Director, I·SPARC. (Photo by Tricia Thomas)

Two locals among six outstanding Indigenous athletes to receive prestigious award

Vancouver Island honours recipients of Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport

A Saltair hockey player and Penelakut Island cyclist are among the six outstanding Indigenous youth athletes from the Island region honoured with Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport during a ceremony in Duncan.

Jada Livingston, 17, who’s Metis, also plays rugby in addition to hockey at Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan. Hockey is much more than a pastime for her and even included an extended season in 2018 when she was involved in filming for the Hit the Ice series on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

The other local recipient is Aedan Crocker, 16, of Penelakut Island who’s a prominent road and track cycling athlete.

Ty Brant, 18, from Duncan (hockey), Ty Ludwikowski, 15, from Campbell River (basketball, soccer), Emoni Bush, 16, of Campbell River (volleyball) and Nicola Smith, 19, of Victoria (rugby) rounded out the regional honourees.

The awards were presented at the Quw’utsun’ Cultural & Conference Centre. The Island is the sixth and final region to honour Indigenous athletes through this province-wide awards program known as I-SPARC.

I·SPARC, in collaboration with the Province of British Columbia, launched the regional nomination process in August, 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 the six regions – Fraser, Interior, Northeast, Northwest, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island.

“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.”

“This unique awards program is a great way to show the incredible talent and what these young athletes have accomplished,” said Mildred Price, Vancouver Island Regional co-lead for I·SPARC. “We are happy to honour their successes in sport and school and within their communities.”

The regional recipients automatically serve as nominees for the Provincial Awards to be selected in early 2020 in Kamloops.

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Saltair hockey star Jada Livingston appeared on the hockey program Hit The Ice. (File photo by Don Bodger)

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