Zach Spicer Receives Award for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport

Twelve outstanding Aboriginal athletes receive provincial award
BC Government and I·SPARC present Premier’s Awards for
Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport 

Richmond, BC – The 2017 Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport were presented in Richmond on Tuesday, March 20 to twelve outstanding Aboriginal youth athletes from British Columbia. Their athletic accomplishments are as extraordinary as their commitment to their community and future aspirations.

The awards were presented by the Honourable Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, during a formal celebration held during the opening ceremonies of the Gathering Our Voices Youth Conference at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel in Richmond, B.C.

The 2017 Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport provincial recipients represent a wide variety of sports:

  • Kaitlyn Lafontaine, Basketball, Métis Nation BC
  • William Brewer, Snowboarding, Basketball, Track & Field, Lacrosse, Okanagan Indian Band
  • Sophie Scobie, Lacrosse, Track & Field, Métis Nation BC
  • Mark Anthony Roberts, Rifle Shooting, Wei Wai Kum First Nation
  • Alison Desmarais, Short Track Speed Skating, Métis Nation BC
  • Graham Stewart, Rowing, Métis Nation of Greater Victoria
  • Amy Levelton Leighton, Swimming, Metlakatla First Nation
  • Daniel Everton, Volleyball, Métis Nation BC
  • Kylie Jack, Golf, Penticton Indian Band
  • Zach Spicer, Sailing, Mikisew Cree First Nation
  • Hunter Lang, Softball, TS’KW’AYLAXW First Nation
  • Corben Bowen, Rugby, Haisla Nation

“I am impressed and inspired by the dedication these young athletes have demonstrated to achieve the 2017 Premier’s Award for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport,” said Premier John Horgan. “As outstanding athletes and community leaders, this year’s recipients truly represent British Columbia’s best and brightest. We are proud to offer the training and development support that enables Aboriginal youth to reach this level of accomplishment. Congratulations!”

The Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (I·SPARC), in collaboration with the Government of British Columbia, created the Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport to highlight the incredible achievements of Aboriginal youth athletes in the province.

The annual awards honour Aboriginal athletes under 25 years of age who have achieved excellence in performance sport, are regarded for their leadership qualities, are committed to a higher education, and are recognized as community role models both on and off the field.

“It is my pleasure to honour these 12 extraordinary Aboriginal youth athletes with the 2017 Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport,” said Rick Brant, I·SPARC’s Executive Director. “In addition to being outstanding athletes, each has contributed to their community, made a commitment to their education and demonstrated outstanding leadership. They are an inspiration to us all.”

From the 48 regional recipients selected in 2017, a total of 12 recipients (six male and six female) were selected to receive the provincial award.

Zach Spicer
Age: 18
Sport: Sailing
Nation: Mikisew Cree First Nation
Hometown: Surrey

When Zach Spicer began sailing, he spent almost as much time in the water as in the boat. Now in his first year competing internationally, he and his crew placed 99th at the 2017 29er Worlds at Long Beach, California. A member of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, his crew won the club’s Commodores’ Cup in 2016, bringing the trophy back to the club after a 12-year absence. Zach was on his school’s honour roll in both 2016 and 2017 and received a sailing scholarship from Sail BC and Sail Canada. He enjoys history, especially First Nations history where Chief Phil Lane Jr. has been an outstanding mentor and encouraging him to learn more. He intends to apply to UBC and McGill University as they have competitive engineering programs and sailing teams. Among his goals are to represent Canada at the Olympics and to inspire Aboriginal youths to get involved with sailing.