Navajo pro-runner Alvina Begay (centre) leads Okanagan Nation Alliance runners on the Spirit of Syilx Unity Run from Christina Lake to Revelstoke.

Olympic hopeful Navajo pro-runner joins Spirit of Syilx run to Revelstoke

The Okanagan Nation Alliance hosted Olympic hopeful Alvina Begay as part of the Spirit of Syilx Unity Run from Christina Lake to Revelstoke

  • Jun. 20, 2012 8:00 p.m.

Contributed by Celina Albany

The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA), which consists of eight Aboriginal tribes, came together in early June in support of their fourth annual Spirit of Syilx Unity Run. The run is aimed at youth suicide awareness while encouraging community engagement and a healthy lifestyle and this year included US Olympic hopeful Alvina Begay, a member of the Nike N7 development program.

Commencing in Christina Lake on May 31 and wrapping up at the Revelstoke Dam on June 3, the run attracted about 350 participants who ran 381 kilometres this year.

“This year’s run was a huge success,” said Tara Montgomery, a communications manager with ONA. “It was a bit smaller than last year, but the point is getting these kids out here and using their energy for a good cause, especially those who are at risk. It’s really important to have members of all ages in our communities coming together. I think, even without us telling them, the kids realized how powerful they can be when they’re involved in something like this.”

Upon invitation, Aboriginal tribes from the Greater Vancouver area made the long journey out and made quite an impression among the hundreds of runners and supporters.

“At first a lot of the kids were doing the stand-off thing and keeping to their groups,” said Sneena Brooks, Vice-Chairman  from The Confederated Tribes of The Colville Reservation, in Washington State. “By the time I left I saw them all coming out of their shells and working together. The border between the U.S. and Canada isn’t something that needs to bind their hearts and their minds and seeing them unite was proof of that,” said Brooks, referring to the nations that are part of ONA on the American side of the border.

A fellow American who joined the run for the first time this year was Navajo pro-runner Alvina Begay, from Arizona State. “I think it’s inspiring all these people came out for the same cause,” said Begay. “It’s great to have parents and leaders out here getting their kids involved. It will show the kids that being physically active and participating in cause that you believe in is very important and it’s something they should all do when they get older.”

PHOTO: The Okanagan Nation Alliance Spirit of Syilx Unity Run concludes with a circle at the Revelstoke Dam on June 3.

On June 22 Begay will be participating in time trials to join the London 2012 Olympics, which begin later this summer.

“My mother always said positive things to me about what running and getting an education would do for me and, in that way, I already foresaw what I wanted to do at a young age … I started running because my parents took me to running events, so that is how they got me hooked on it,” said Begay, who praised all the parents and grandparents who got their kids out to the four-day event.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Advance Voting in Revelstoke a success

The municiple election season is well underway with advance voting held on Oct. 10 and Oct. 17

Revelstoke peewee Grizzlies lose to Vernon

The Revelstoke Grizzlies Peewee Tier 3 team played Vernon on Saturday, losing… Continue reading

Fred Penner is coming to Revelstoke

The iconic children’s entertainer will be at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre Oct. 20

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Oct. 14

125 Years Ago: Kootenay Star, October 21, 1893 Revelstoke Station is rapidly… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Vancouver Island homeowners buy more earthquake insurance than the rest of B.C.

Insurance Bureau of Canada says that’s because the perception of risk is greater on the Island

Man shot to death while using Lower Mainland ATM

Police believe incident on Thursday night to be targeted

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

Okanagan water conference builds connections

Experts gathered to discuss water and fisherie sustainability objectives

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

Most Read