Premiers_Award_Black_and_White
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 18, 2015

VICTORIA – The Province of British Columbia is pleased to announce the opening of nominations for a new awards program celebrating the athletic achievements of Aboriginal youth. The Premier͛s Award for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport has been developed with the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation, and Physical Activity Partners Council – a partnership made up of the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, the First Nations Health Authority, and Métis Nation BC.

Nominees will be scored on athletic achievement, leadership skills, commitment to higher education, and for recognition as community role models both on and off the field of play. These awards build on Premier Christy Clark’s announcement earlier this year of a commitment to establish a program to honour and celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal youth in sport. Athletes will be honoured at the 2016 Gathering Our Voices Conference in Victoria. There will be 12 awards handed out (six male and six female) and recipients will also be invited to attend a special high performance workshop to further their athletic skills and leadership.

Quotes:
Premier Christy Clark –
“To young people, sports are powerful, giving meaning in confusing or even difficult times. One of the ways we can embrace reconciliation is by recognizing and celebrating Aboriginal achievement in sports.”

Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development –
“͞We have many great Aboriginal youth athletes in this province and they deserve to be acknowledged for their hard work and dedication to sport and community. These awards will leave a new legacy that promotes teamwork, education and leadership.”

Gordon Hogg, Parliamentary Secretary for Youth Sport – 
“In partnership with Aboriginal leaders, we are building a foundation to promote and advance youth participation in sport. Together we have created an award for sport excellence that celebrates the achievements of our First Nations and Aboriginal athletes in a way that allows their home communities, as well as the public, to show their appreciation.”

Paul Lacerte, executive director, BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres – 
“͞We are pleased to join the Province in recognizing the best Aboriginal athletes in B.C. There will be a strong First Nations presence in the selection process and recipients will receive an award designed by a First Nations artist and selected by the council.”

Joe Gallagher, chief executive officer, First Nation Health Authority – 
“͞These awards focus on the winning combination of athletics, scholarship, leadership and culture, and will recognize and honour the health and wellness of youth from a holistic perspective. The winners will serve as an excellent example not only for First Nations and Aboriginal youth, but for all British Columbians.”

Quick Facts:
The 2016 Gathering Our Voices Conference will take place in Victoria March 21-24, 2016.

Learn More:
Nomination forms for the Premier͛s Award for Aboriginal Youth Excellence can be found here:
http://aboriginalsportbc.ca/grants-and-opportunities/premiers-awards-for-aboriginal-youth-excellence-in-sport/