Congratulations to BC Rugby Members Brenden McElhinney (Langley RFC) and Darwin Douglas (Salish Sea Warriors) on being named as Fraser regional recipients of the 2021 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport.
Langley’s McElhinney, 18, of the Fraser Valley Métis Association and Chilliwack’s Douglas, also 18, of the Cheam First Nation are two of six Fraser Valley athletes to receive recognition for being outstanding athletes in their fields.
McElhinney and Douglas have represented BC’s Provincial Team and the Fraser Valley Rugby Union at Age-Grade level, and have both played at the Western Canada Championships and Provincial Regional Championships. McElhinney came through the ranks at Langley RFC, while Douglas has been a Member at both the Salish Sea Warriors and Abbotsford RFC.
VIDEO HONOURING RECIPIENTS
The Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I-SPARC), in collaboration with the Province of British Columbia, launched the regional nomination process in 2021, receiving nominations from each of I·SPARC’s six regions (Fraser, Interior, Northeast, Northwest, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island).
Applications were open to Indigenous youth athletes 25 years and younger who compete in performance sport and demonstrate a commitment to their education, culture, and promoting healthy and active lifestyles.
Over the course of this week, I·SPARC are announcing the 29 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 Premier’s Awards, which will be announced later this year.
Due to the pandemic, the Regional Awards celebrations are not being held in-person this year. As a way of honouring this year’s recipients, I·SPARC has produced a series of commemorative videos highlighting each of the region’s athletes to celebrate their outstanding achievements.
“Congratulations to the Premier’s Awards recipients in the Fraser region for your achievements in sport, education, culture, community, and leadership. We are so inspired by your dedication to live healthy, active lifestyles while paving the way for future generations. We raise our hands to you.” Cheryl Charlie, Sts’ailes, Secretary/Treasurer, I·SPARC Board of Directors
“These regional awards celebrate Indigenous youth excellence in sport, an important part of our government’s commitment to reconciliation. Each year, it is with great pride that we partner with I·SPARC to acknowledge Indigenous youth who have stood out for their leadership, exceptional athleticism and exemplary commitment to their sport, community, and culture. Congratulations, you are an inspiration to us all.” Premier John Horgan
“I am proud to be Nisga’a, Gitsxan, Cree and Ojibway and the Minister responsible for Sport. I am so thrilled to congratulate each of the 29 Indigenous athletes for being so amazing. Sport is a powerful medicine that truly changed my life. It has the power to uplift individuals and inspire communities. These young athletes are the best of the best and a shining example of reconciliation in action.” Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport
The Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (I·SPARC) is a provincial organization established with the purpose of improving the health outcomes of Indigenous peoples by supporting and encouraging physically active individuals, families, and communities. The programs and services delivered by I·SPARC are designed to build capacity and increase access to sport, recreation, and physical activity in First Nations communities, Métis Chartered Communities, Aboriginal Friendship Centres, schools, and other delivery agencies throughout the province.