A Campbell River volleyball player is receiving provincial recognition. Emoni Bush, 16, is among the 10 Indigenous athletes receiving the 2019 Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport.
The 16 year-old athlete is a member of the Wei Wai Kum First Nation. She just wrapped up Grade 11 during which she helped the Carihi Tyees win silver at provincials last year. Bush also competed with Team Canada at the U18 World Championships, where the team finished 14th.
The awards were created by the Indigenous Sport Physical Activity and Recreation Council (ISPARC) and the provincial government to highlight the achievements of Indigenous youth athletes across B.C. by honouring their excellence in sport, commitment to education, the positive role they play in their communities and how they demonstrate leadership on and off the court, according to a press release.
“Sport can play a powerful role in helping us lead healthy lives, and that’s particularly true for children and youth,” said Premier John Horgan. “These awards are an opportunity to recognize an celebrate these exceptional athletes’ accomplishments in sport, school, and community.”
Bush is a role model for fellow Indigenous athletes. She plays volleyball with her younger cousins whenever she can and encourages them to pursue sports.
Last fall, 36 regional recipients were recognized (including Campbell River’s Ty Ludwikowski) and the group was whittled down to the core 10 who are receiving provincial awards.
Bush found out she was receiving the provincial award in late February. She was looking forward to attending the provincial award ceremony in Kamloops during the Gathering Our Voices Indigenous Youth Leadership Training in March, but it was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s had to keep it a secret for months, until the award recipients were officially announced.
Bush said she hopes the award makes her community proud.
“It just makes me feel really happy,” she said.
Bush and her fellow winners will be presented with their awards during the regional awards ceremony which is scheduled for this fall.
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