Athletes from the Cowichan Valley were part of history as Team BC won the two most coveted awards at the 2014 North American Indigenous Games in Regina, Saskatchewan last month.
Team BC became the first team to win both the overall medal title and the John Fletcher Spirit Award, which goes to the contingent that best demonstrates the spirit of teamwork, fair play, respect and integrity during the week of competition.
Team BC won a total of 160 medals in Regina: 63 gold, 49 silver and 48 bronze, just edging Team Saskatchewan, which finished with 159 medals.
Cowichan Tribes member Wayne Daniels returned home with five medals in canoe/kayak. Daniels claimed gold in the U19 men’s K1 3000m, and added solo silver in the MC1 1000m, MC1 3000m and MC1 6000m, as well as teaming up with Stuart George to take bronze in the MC2 6000m.
Crystal Charles and Rhianon Morrison of Lake Cowichan were part of the B.C. squad that won gold in U19 girls volleyball, while a trio of Valley athletes – Benecia George and Seleana Jack of Cowichan Tribes and Brittany Brown of Penelakut – took bronze in U18 girls soccer.
Duncan’s Rick Brant ser ved as Di rec tor of the Abor iginal Spor t, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council, a joint effort between several prominent Aboriginal organizations in B.C. that oversees Team BC at NAIG. "Thi s was a complete team effort," Brant said. "We assembled an amazing group of athletes, coaches, volunteers and mission staff, and from day one they made their presence felt in Regina. The Aboriginal sport delivery system that we have created has shown tremendous success. But we simply couldn’t have reached new heights at the NAIG without the support of our three partner agencies, the provincial sport organizations and the significant investment the provincial government has made towards Team BC and our ongoing sport development programs."