Duncan hockey player Ty Brant was among six outstanding young Indigenous athletes honoured when the 2019 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport for Vancouver Island were presented at the Quw’utsun’ Cultural Centre on Nov. 27.
The Vancouver Island award ceremony was the last of six held in different regions across B.C. by the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (I-SPARC) for Indigenous athletes under the age of 25.
The 18-year-old Brant, who is playing this season with the Dauphin Kings of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, was unable to attend the presentations, but was still pleased to be among the recipients.
“For me, receiving this award is a real testament to what can result from hard work,” he said. “One thing I’ve learned from sport is that hard work will get you where you want. Whether it’s playing sports or becoming successful in life, it all starts with strong work ethic.”
Brant is a member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, but grew up in Duncan. He has lined up on defence for Team B.C. at three straight National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, winning bronze in 2017 when the tournament was held in the Cowichan Valley, and gold in 2018 in Nova Scotia, and placing fourth in 2019 in the Yukon.
Other winners last Tuesday included Ladysmith’s Jada Livingston, a hockey and rugby player from the Métis Nation; Victoria’s Aedan Crocker, a cyclist from the Penelakut Tribe; Campbell River’s Ty Ludwikowski, a basketball and soccer player from the Wei Wai Kum First Nation; Campbell River’s Emoni Bush, a volleyball player from the Wei Wai Kum First Nation, and Victoria’s Nicola Smith a rugby player from the Peguis First Nation.
“This unique awards program is a great way to show the incredible talent and what these young athletes have accomplished,” said Mildred Price, Vancouver Island regional co-lead for I-SPARC. “We are happy to honour their successes in sport and school and within their communities.”
The regional recipients automatically become nominees for the provincial awards. Ten provincial recipients will be honoured in Kamloops in March.