NAN Games Present Positive Opportunity for Youth

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Derek Fox
NAN Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox

Derek Fox
NAN Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox
THUNDER BAY – “The thing I love about sports, similar to education, are the struggles, adversity, and obstacles one must encounter to succeed, in turn causing valuable life lessons. But mostly, I love the friendships and bridges those friends build together while competing,” shares NAN Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox. “I believe hunting, fishing and being on the land are some of the greatest resources we have in the North, but that sports, provides a valuable resource to those who may not have access in the South and a form of active living or good health. Sports teaches our young ones to work hard, to do it together and respect one another in doing so; and that sometimes the chance of failure is just as great or greater than the chance of success, a risk they will learn from regardless of the outcome”.

Today, following an opening event last night at Dennis Franklin Cromarty School in Thunder Bay, youth are gathering for two days of sporting activity and competition.

NAN Gains with NAN Games

“We recognize that sports and recreation contribute to high self-esteem and that active living is a path to a healthy lifestyle, and events like the Summer Sports Festival will help give our youth the confidence they need to have success in life,” said NAN Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox, who welcomed participants at a meet-and-greet on Thursday evening. “Friendly competition is an excellent way to bring our youth together not only to compete in athletics but to learn about the importance of teamwork. I am proud to support them all.”

NAN is pleased to welcome five-time national champion Keir Johnston, who will deliver a keynote address to athletes on Friday afternoon at Boulevard Lake Park. Johnston has competed in canoe and kayak events for 10 years and recently competed for Team Canada at the Pan American Championships in Puerto Rico. His presentation is open to the public.

Formally known as the NAN Games, the Summer Sports Festival is open to open to all NAN youth from grades 6-12. Schedule of events include:

Friday, June 17
Opening Ceremonies – Boulevard Lake Park, 10 a.m.
Canoe/Kayak (Basics & Races) – Boulevard Lake Park, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Keynote speaker Kier Johnston – Boulevard Lake Park, 1 p.m.
3-on-3 Basketball – Lakehead University (Main Gym), 6-10 p.m.
Saturday, June 18
Track & Field – Royal Canadian Legion Sports Complex, 9:30 a.m.-2:30p.m.
Closing Ceremonies – Royal Canadian Legion Sports Complex, 2:30 p.m.

NAN has held several athletic events for youth to promote healthy lifestyles and raise self-esteem through recreation and physical activity. A Skills Development Track & Field Meet was held in Thunder Bay in April 2014 saw 100 athletes participate. The NAN Indoor Games were held in Thunder Bay in February 2015, and the NAN Summer Games were hosted by Mattagami First Nation in 2015.

Where possible, NAN is also working with individual First Nation communities to develop and promote recreation programming.

NAN thanks the major sponsors and partners including: NAN Education, Ministry of Culture and Sport, Ministry of Citizenship & Immigration, Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario, Confederation College, Lakehead University, Wilderness Supply, Lakehead Canoe Club, Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School.

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