Continuing the legacy of the Cowichan 2008 North American Indigenous Games, a large contingent of local athletes is in Toronto this week for NAIG 2017.
According to Team BC Communications, nearly 30 athletes from the Cowichan Valley are representing the province at the games, which started this past Sunday and continue until July 23.
The sport with the strongest Cowichan Valley representation is soccer. The entirety of the U16 male soccer team is from the Island, with seven players from Duncan: Harry Seymour, Michael Daniels, Liam Sylvester, Raistlin Canute, Tayton Joe, Tremayne Gray-Thorne and Xavier Thorne.
There are also five local players on the U19 male team: Devin Jack, Brent Brown, Shane Brown, Travis Salopree and Treyton Joe, and two, Maiya Modeste and Mariah Thomas, on the U19 female team.
Another 11 Duncan athletes are listed on the roster for the B.C. canoe/kayak team: Brandan Price, Trey Gray-Thorne, Janessa Horne, Kyla Price, Jerome Seymour Jr., Constance Louie, Janelle Paige, Myles Paige, Kole Paige, Janessa Joe-Campbell and Tyana Price.
Two swimmers from the Valley are at the Games: Duncan’s Kaitlyn Atleo and Cobble Hill’s Jasmine Marston. Leading the way for Team BC is Duncan Stingrays coach Leanne Sirup.
Two other Duncan athletes are the only representatives from the Cowichan Valley listed in their respective sports: Ebonie Elliott in basketball and Shannon Charles in volleyball.
Naomi Walser of Cobble Hill is an assistant coach with the B.C. U16 male box lacrosse team.