A Langley youth is amongst 10 B.C. Indigenous athletes, recognized by the premier for their performance in sports, commitment to education and culture, as well as efforts in promoting healthy lifestyles.
Kiera Pemberton, a basketball player from the Nova Metis Heritage Association, recently became a recipient of Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport, a win she didn’t expect at all.
The award came as a surprise to the 17-year-old youth.
But now, she hopes to use this recognition to encourage other Indigenous female athletes.
“I want to show [Indigenous athletes] if they work hard they can achieve their goals and dreams, too.”
The Walnut Grove resident said the award is reflective of values that she holds close to her and gave her the confidence to keep going.
Pemberton has recently represented Canada on the U16 National team. She currently plays for the University of North Dakota Women’s Basketball Program, and is an NCAA Division 1 athlete.
The 10 provincial recipients will receive a $500 bursary, a framed limited edition Premier’s Award print, and will have their photo and biography on display in the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
The awards supported by the province of B.C. and the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (ISPARC) received nominations from each of ISPARC’s six regions – Fraser, Interior, Northeast, Northwest, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island.
Nominations were open to Indigenous athletes under the age of 25, who have competed in performance sport, demonstrated a commitment to their education and culture, and have promoted healthy and active lifestyles.
Six athletes were selected from each region. Of the 36 regional recipients, 10 athletes were selected as provincial recipients for the 2021 provincial accolades.
“The Premier’s Awards are a celebration of Indigenous youth excellence on and off the field,” said then-premier John Horgan.
“This year’s recipients have already achieved so much as leaders in their sport and as representatives for their community, but this is only the beginning. Congratulations on your accomplishment and know that I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines.”
Lisa Beare, minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport, too congratulated the recipients and said, “I am so proud of these young athletes and community leaders, for their accomplishments in high performance sport, and commitment to their education and volunteer efforts in their communities.”
“Sport has the power to change lives, to create strong community connections and to inspire generations to care for each other. I know that these award recipients will continue to inspire us to persevere, engage and dream big,” she added.
Through the next few weeks, ISPARC will be honouring the Premier’s Awards recipients with a special event held via Zoom. The celebration will include a pre-taped video presentation conducted from the BC Sports Hall of Fame and hosted by Blake Price, sports broadcaster.
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