Terrace area Indigenous athletes recognized for excellence

Melanie Mark, B.C. minister of sport delivers an opening statement for the Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport north regional virtual ceremony on April 26, 2021/ (Screenshot/I-SPARC - Indigenous Sport BC YouTube)Melanie Mark, B.C. minister of sport delivers an opening statement for the Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport north regional virtual ceremony on April 26, 2021/ (Screenshot/I-SPARC - Indigenous Sport BC YouTube)
Nancy Moore, 16, northeast recipient of a Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. (Submitted Photo/Kristi Patton)Nancy Moore, 16, northeast recipient of a Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. (Submitted Photo/Kristi Patton)
Rhon Peal, 19, northwest recipient of a Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. (Submitted Photo/Kristi Patton)Rhon Peal, 19, northwest recipient of a Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. (Submitted Photo/Kristi Patton)
Jacob Heit, 17, northwest recipient of a Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. (Submitted Photo/Kristi Patton)Jacob Heit, 17, northwest recipient of a Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. (Submitted Photo/Kristi Patton)
Tatum Jack, 14, northwest recipient of a Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. (Submitted Photo/Kristi Patton)Tatum Jack, 14, northwest recipient of a Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. (Submitted Photo/Kristi Patton)

Four athletes with connections to the Terrace area have been awarded prestigious commendations for their dedication to their sport, education and culture.

Nancy Moore, 16, Jacob Heit, 17, Rhon Peal, 19, and Tatum Jack, 14, have been selected to receive regional Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport.

Usually, there would be a ceremony to honour the winners, but due to the pandemic the recipients were announced virtually April 26 on the I-SPARC YouTube channel, with Melanie Mark, B.C.’s minister of sport, congratulating the recipients.

Northeast region winner and Haida hockey player Nancy Moore was born and raised in Terrace. She currently plays hockey for the Northern Capitals in Prince George. Moore has been scouted by the Ivy League’s Brown University and invited to play centre for the Pacific Steelers in the Junior Women’s Hockey League. Moore is also a volunteer coach, and her goal is to become a veterinarian.

“I’m proud to honour the Haida Nation as a young competitive athlete,” Moore said in her acceptance speech.

Rhon Peal, Jacob Heit and Tatum Jack were the three northwest region winners.

The Nisga’a Nation’s Rhon Peal is a wrestler, overcoming medical conditions and sometimes having to compete outside of his weight class. He claimed a gold medal at the 2019/20 Northwest Zone Championship. He is in the process of building a wrestling club and wants to become a physical education teacher.

“This is worth all the blood, sweat and tears,” he said in his speech after thanking his coaches and family.

Kispiox Band’s Jacob Heit was a 2019 Northwest Zone champion and MVP with Caledonia Secondary School’s senior AA soccer team, leading the tournament in goals. Heit is also an avid skier, and wants to become an electrician.

“Thank you to my coaches, teachers and mentors for your time, commitment, dedication and transfer of knowledge that has enabled me to believe in the power of teammates, friendships and myself,” he said.

The third northwest regional winner is Tatum Jack — hockey, volleyball and basketball player from Gitanmaax. She was named to Team BC’s 14U basketball team for the 2020 North American Indigenous Games and captained her Hazelton minor hockey team.

“I would like take this opportunity to thank my coaches, especially Tamara Stoney, she has put a lot of time and effort into making me the player I am today,” she said in her acceptance speech.

“I’d also like to thank my Grandma who has taught me everything she knows about basketball and is one of the most important people to me.”

The Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I-SPARC) collaborated on the regional nomination process with the provincial government. There are 30 regional winners in total who are automatically nominees for the provincial awards to be announced later in 2021.

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