Announcement - 2017 Aboriginal Award Winners

The MASRC would like to present the 2017 Aboriginal Athletes, Coaches, and Volunteers of the year!

Click for following links to view the Media Releases:

Athlete of the Year Media Release

Coach of the Year Media Release

Volunteer of the Year Media Release

Female Aboriginal Athlete Award - Dennita Cameron from Thompson (Cross Lake Band)

Dennita is a multi -sport athlete who participates in basketball, soccer, volleyball and high jump while attending R.D. Parker Collegiate in Thompson. In 2017, Dennita won the Manitoba High School JV Basketball Provincials, competed in Manitoba High School Soccer Provincials, competed in High School Varsity Volleyball Provincials and placed first in several high school and provincial high jump competitions. She was also the top ranked U20 Female for high jump in Manitoba and was ranked 4th in Canada for U18 Indoor High Jump. Dennita played for the U16 Female Volleyball team at the 2017 North American Indigenous Games in Toronto, winning a bronze medal. A week later she participated at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg in high jump. In addition to her athletic achievements, Dennita volunteers as a junior assistant dance coach, was part of the True Sport initiative in Thompson and was part of the 2017 NAIG - Team #88 campaign, which was profiled on the NAIG website as well as the Sport Canada social media site during NAIG.

Male Aboriginal Athlete Award - Adam Thompson from Roseau River First Nation

Adam was very busy in school, in his community and on the sports fields. He captained the U19 Manitoba soccer team at the 2017 North American Indigenous Games in Toronto, bringing home the bronze medal. He was the captain of his high school varsity rugby team, helping the team to a 2nd place finish in the province. He was a member of the U-18 Manitoba 7's rugby team that competed at the National Festival in British Columbia. He also competed in basketball, volleyball, soccer and track for his high school and is described by his coach as being a natural athlete that trains hard and is very coachable. Adam was an active participant in the school SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) as well as was selected to participate in the ASSIST program which is a suicide prevention program on Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation. Adam currently is enrolled at the University of Winnipeg and plays hockey for Fisher River Hawks (KJHL).

Female Aboriginal Coaching Award - Shawna Spence from Peguis First Nation

Shawna was the head coach of Team Manitoba's U19 female softball team at the 2017 North American Indigenous Games held in Toronto in July. In 2016, Shawna started by proudly accepting the coaching position for the U16 female team and quickly got to work promoting the sport of softball and began tryouts throughout the province in order to recruit Manitoba's best female indigenous softball players. In addition to her coaching role, Shawna also took on the responsibility of the Sport Manager for softball's four teams participating in the NAIG. On top of all the meetings leading up to the competition, Shawna held numerous practices with the U16 female softball team as well as the U19 team, which lead to some last minute changes in coaching roles. Shawna demonstrated her experience and flexibility by stepping up and accepting the role of head coach for the U19 female softball team and gladly took the time to mentor the new coaches for the U16 team. There is no doubt that without Shawna's commitment and hard work ethic, the NAIG softball program would not have been as successful.

Male Aboriginal Coaching Award - Michael Spence from Peguis First Nation

In 2017, Micheal Spence has demonstrated his outstanding leadership and commitment to the sport of hockey through his role as the assistant coach for the Peguis Junior B's of the Keystone Junior Hockey League (KJHL). In previous seasons, Micheal was the head coach for Peguis and led his team to win the league championship. This season, Michael gladly stepped down into an assistant role in order to have the opportunity to support his own children in their sporting endeavors all while still being an incredible mentor for the players on his team. In the spring, Michael joined the coaching staff for Team Manitoba's male team participating in the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in British Columbia and brought back home the gold medal! This can only be a display of dedication, not only for his children, but for his community and the players on his team.

Female Aboriginal Volunteer Award - Winona Morrison from Peguis First Nation (York Factory First Nation)

Winona Morrison, also known as "Big Mama" in the community of Peguis First Nation, demonstrates the true nature of a volunteer. With her passion for her children and the youth in the community, Winona goes above and beyond in order to create opportunities for youth in sport. With wrestling being her sport of choice, she has worked hard along with the wrestling coach to build up the program in the community. In 2017, Winona was selected to represent Manitoba and the sport of wrestling as the sport manager for the 2017 NAIG. She promotes the sport to the youth and makes sure forms and finances are in order leading up to competitions. Winona also played a major role in hosting the wrestling tournament in Peguis this season. Currently, Winona is representing Team East as the sport manager for wrestling for the Manitoba Games and continues to encourage participation in order to grow the sport of wrestling in the province.

Male Volunteer Award - Mike Taylor from St. Theresa Point First Nation

Hailing from St. Theresa Point First Nation, Mike is dedicated to help the youth of the community to the best of his ability. In 2017, Mike demonstrated his selflessness by helping the community of Wasagamack First Nation and its fire evacuees by offering comfort and shelter, and assisting with transportation and cooking. He continuously seeks opportunities in sport for the youth in his community including helping the cross country teams in attending competitions and by working closely with the Manitoba Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Council to bring in clinics in sports like basketball, dragon boat, and paddling. Mike continues to provide leadership in his community and without his welcoming presence and positive attitude, the youth would not have these positive life experiences.

The athletes and volunteers will be officially recognized at the 2018 Sport Manitoba's Night of Champions on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Click here for event details.

The coaches will be officially recognized on the morning of Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the Coaching Manitoba Impact Awards. Click here for event details.


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