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Quesnel swimmers win Indigenous Youth Excellence Premier’s Awards for second time

Swimming superstars Billy Swyers and Garnet Currie honoured for achievements
Quesnel swimmers Billy Swyers, left, and Garnet Currie each received Premier’s Awards for the second year in a row. Contributed photo

Two Quesnel swimmers have won prestigious awards from the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (ISPARC).

Billy Swyers, 15, and Garnet Currie, 18, received 2018 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport on Sunday Oct. 28, as two of eight recipients from the northeast.

Swyers and Currie both received the awards for their swimming prowess. Swyers is part of Quesnel’s Waveriders Swim Club, with Currie having moved on from the local club, now swimming with Vancouver Pacific Swim Club while he attends the University of British Columbia.

Both swimmers were honoured with Premier’s Awards for the second year in a row.

READ MORE: Quesnel swimmers receive Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport

The 2018 awards were presented at an event in Prince George Sunday at the Nusdeh Yoh Aboriginal Choice School. Award recipients were nominated from across the province, to honour Indigenous athletes under 25 years of age who are competing in performance sport and committed to living healthy, active lifestyles. Swyers is a member of the Lax-Kw’alaams Band, and Currie is Métis.

A total of 48 recipients were chosen within ISPARC’s six regions – Northeast, Northwest, Interior, Fraser, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island.

Currie said ISPARC flew him up from Vancouver to receive his award.

“It’s definitely a pretty big honour to get the award again. I was pretty thankful.

“It’s cool to go up there and talk about my achievements and what they mean to me, and explain what the previous award had done for me as well,” he commented.

Currie is now back in Vancouver, and said he has a swim meet this weekend with his new club.

Swyers also said he is proud of his achievement.

He has two more years with the Waveriders, and he said he has a swim meet coming up mid-November in Prince George.

The regional recipients automatically serve as nominees for ISPARC’s Provincial Awards. A total of 12 Provincial Awards (six male and six female) will be selected in January 2019. Provincial recipients will be presented with their award at Gathering our Voices: Indigenous Youth Leadership Forum in Port Alberni March 19-22, 2019.

“I’m very proud to support these awards, which provide much-deserved recognition for our top young Indigenous athletes,” said Premier John Horgan in a press release. “It’s great to see these young champions achieving top results in such a wide variety of sports.”

Ken Edzerza, Northeast regional lead for ISPARC, said: “The Premier’s Awards recognize our young people who are leading by example and giving back in a big way to their sport and communities. Congratulations to our recipients.”

The six other northeast Premier’s Award recipients include:

Camryn Scully, age 17, Hockey, Fastball, Métis Nation BC

Loveena McCorkell, age 14, Judo, Skin Tyee First Nation

Sydney Kelly, age 18, Soccer, Lax-Kw’alaams

Nicholas Krawczyk, age 14, Lacrosse, Duncan’s First Nation

Teaira Bishop, age 14, Rugby, Basketball, Lake Babine First Nation

Daniel Sturgeon, age 14, Lacrosse, Métis Nation BC

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