Merritt, B.C. local Bill Brewer was recognized late November for his excellence in snowboarding by being named as a recipient of the Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport. 15-year-old Brewer trains at Sun Peaks with the First Nations Snowboard Team (FNST) and was nominated for the award by FNST co-ordinator Anne Keith.
The FNST is comprised of 59 athletes who are split into three groups: beginners, intermediate and advanced with the goal of empowering the youth.
“I’m in the advanced group with a few more of my teammates and we have the advanced coaches. They help us train just to be a better snowboarder in general and to help us train for races,” said Brewer.
While Brewer enjoys cruising down Five Mile and practising his 180’s, he hopes to one day get to compete at a higher level.
“I’m hoping maybe one day (to) compete in the Olympics for snowboarding,” said Brewer.
Brewer was one of 48 athletes across six regions Northeast, Northwest, Interior, Fraser, Vancouver Coastal and Vancouver Island, to receive the award. Each recipient was chosen based on achievements in sport, commitment to pursuing higher education, leadership, volunteerism as well as connection to culture.
Brewer was recognized for his commitment to living a healthy active lifestyle. Along with competing in snowboarding, Brewer excels in dirt biking and lacrosse and keeps himself in shape by playing other sports on the side.
When asked what advice he would give another athlete getting started in snowboarding Brewer said to have fun.
“For snowboarding, I would tell them it’s hard at first but if you want to be good (you) really just put in the time. Have fun with it because if you don’t have fun at the start then it just brings you down,” said Brewer.
The Premier’s Award automatically serves as a nomination for the Provincial awards in which 12 recipients will be chosen in February for a chance to attend an Aboriginal Youth Sport Leadership Forum in Richmond, in March.