Splatsin First Nation member Darian Williams, 17, a Vernon archer, is one of six Interior region winners of the 2020 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sports. (I-SPARC photo)

Splatsin First Nation member Darian Williams, 17, a Vernon archer, is one of six Interior region winners of the 2020 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sports. (I-SPARC photo)

Okanagan Indigenous athletes recognized for excellence

Vernon archer Darian Williams and Kelowna multi-sport star Tuja Dreyer among six regional finalists for Premier’s Awards

A natural-born archer, Darian Williams of the Splatsin First Nation wants to teach his sport to others.

When not taking aim at a bullseye target, Williams helps his band deliver food and clothes to those in need, and is a proud member of his band’s war canoe team who is uplifting his teammates.

Williams, 17, from Vernon, is one of six outstanding athletes named as Interior regional recipients of the 2020 Premier’s Awards for Indigenouse Youth Excellence in Sport, announced by the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I-SPARC).

“My sincerest appreciation goes to my coaches, and I’d like to thank my foster parents for their support in my sports and all my activities,” said Williams in a 13-minute video created by I-SPARC showcasing the six Interior winners.

Joining Williams as an Interior winner is 13-year-old multiple sport enthusiast Tuja Dreyer of Kelowna, representing the Ross River Dena Council in his native Yukon Territory.

Dreyer competes in judo, swimming and wresting.

“I am truly honoured by and appreciate the selection,” said Dreyer, a BC Games bronze medalist in judo, and Okanagan wrestling champ and member of the Kelowna Aquajets Swim Club. “Sports are important, especially in these COVID times. I’d like to thank all of my coaches for finding creative ways to keep us active.”

Splatsin member James Hamming, 20, of Kamloops, was also an Interior winner for his prowress in the sport of snowboard cross.

I·SPARC, in collaboration with the Province of British Columbia, launched the regional nomination process in late 2020, receiving nominations from each of I·SPARC’s six regions (Fraser, Interior, Northeast, Northwest, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island) for Indigenous athletes under 25 years of age who are competing in performance sport, and demonstrating a commitment to their education, culture, and promoting healthy and active lifestyles.

“I personally congratulate the recipients in the Interior region. Now, more than ever, inspirational leaders like you are helping to bring our communities together. You have honoured the province, your nations, and your families with unwavering commitment and hard work,” said Bruce Baptiste, Interior I·SPARC regional lead.

Due to the pandemic restrictions, the Regional Awards celebrations could not be held this year.

Over the past week, I·SPARC announced the 30 regional recipients of the Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport, by region. These regional recipients automatically serve as nominees for the Provincial Awards, which will be announced later this year.

Joining Williams and Dreyer as Interior winners are Isaac Bedford, 16, Archery, 150 Mile House, Métis Nation BC; Daine Dubois, 21, Hockey, Williams Lake, Cariboo Chilcotin Metis Association; James Hamming, 20, Snowboard Cross Racing, Kamloops, Splatsin First Nation; Clinton Kaboni, 18, Field Lacrosse and Cross-Country, Merritt, Nipissing First Nation.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

AwardsIndigenousLocal SportsSports

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Ross River Dena Council member Tuja Dreyer, 13, a Kelowna three-sport star who excels in swimming, judo and wrestling,is one of six Interior region winners of the 2020 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sports. (I-SPARC photo)

Ross River Dena Council member Tuja Dreyer, 13, a Kelowna three-sport star who excels in swimming, judo and wrestling,is one of six Interior region winners of the 2020 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sports. (I-SPARC photo)

Splatsin First Nation member James Hamming, 20, of Kamloops, a snowboard cross racer, is one of six Interior region winners of the 2020 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sports. (I-SPARC photo)

Splatsin First Nation member James Hamming, 20, of Kamloops, a snowboard cross racer, is one of six Interior region winners of the 2020 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sports. (I-SPARC photo)

Just Posted

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Grizzly bear. (File)
Malakwa man bitten by grizzly bear on dog walk

The man and dogs were not seriously injured

The downtown kiosks were recently painted black. Tourism Revelstoke said decals still need to be added and information inside the kiosks will also be updated. The city said the black paint is temporary as the area is slotted to be completely revamped in the coming years. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
Newly painted black Revelstoke kiosks temporary fix; city

The recent colour changed caused an uproar on Facebook

A hummingbird gives its wings a rare rest while feeding in a North Okanagan garden. (Karen Siemens/North Okanagan Naturalists Club)
Hummingbirds back for another Okanagan season

North America’s littlest birds return, and they’re hungry

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

(Kingfisher Boats photo)
In the market for a boat in the North Okanagan? Be prepared to wait

Vernon’s Kingfisher Boats is out of 2021 models, with many 2022 models already pre-sold

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

Most Read