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

 

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

North Okanagan business Hytec Kohler set up a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Spallumcheen plant Friday, May 14. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
More than half of eligible adults in Interior Health vaccinated

Over 365,000 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the Interior Health region

New Border Bruins owner Dr. Mark Szynkaruk reps team colours with his young sons and wife Tracey. Photo courtesy of the Grand Forks Border Bruins
KIJHL’s Border Bruins sold to Grand Forks doctor

The league announced the sale Friday, May 14

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

A brown bear and two cubs were spotted near Killiney Beach May 10. (Michael Dick photo)
Warm spring brings bears out earlier in Okanagan

Residents urged to keep their garbage secure until the morning of pickup

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Kelowna Law Courts. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Former Vernon teacher found guilty of historic sex crimes against minors

Anoop Singh Klair was found guilty of all eight charges against him in a Kelowna courtroom on Friday

The real estate market is hot in Vernon, and across the Okanagan. (John Dent photo)
North Okanagan home prices, demand continue to build

Single family home volumes up 200 per cent, worth average $647,000

An algal bloom on Wood Lake has residents concerned for the body of water's health. (Wendy Innes-Shaw)
‘Wood Lake looks seriously unwell’: Lake Country residents

Algal bloom appears to be getting worse, and stinky

A wildfire southeast of Vernon has been added to the BC Wildfire dashboard Friday, May 14, 2021. (BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire sparks southeast of Vernon

The fire appears to be in a remote area east of Aberdeen Lake

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Enderby’s Small Axe Roadhouse was the subject of nasty backlash after installing two busty beer towers. (Facebook)
Enderby bar’s busty beer taps to stay put despite backlash

‘Many folks have mansplained to us that we are sexist, misogynistic…’

Most Read