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First nations riders shred Big White

 | March 28, 2013
From left to right, Marissa Eustache, Alexis Gottfreidson and Hayden Tomma just after the snowboard provincials at Big White. Photo: Desiree Janzen
From left to right, Marissa Eustache, Alexis Gottfreidson and Hayden Tomma just after the snowboard provincials at Big White. Photo: Desiree Janzen

Snowboarders on the First Nations Snowboard Team of Sun Peaks have recorded some outstanding results at the BC Snowboard Association provincial finals in Big White.

The athletes have been training at Sun Peaks for the past few years, and can be seen riding the slopes in their distinctive black and green team uniforms. This event was the first time competing for all of them, and Canadian ski racing legend Nancy Greene Raine was amongst the first to praise the team’s achievements.

“All their hard work paid off with amazing results,” says Greene Raine. “Congratulations to all involved in their success.”

Hayden Tomma of the Simpcw First Nation in Chu Chua just north of Barriere came in second place in the men’s 15 to 18 age group, Marissa Eustache also of the Simpcw First Nation in Chu Chua placed fourth in the women’s 15 to 18 age group and Alexis Gottfreidson from the Tk’emlups First Nation placed third in women’s 19 and over.

The team is coached by Desiree Janzen, a Sun Peaks rider who competed internationally for Canada from 2001 to 2004 and won the 2003 Nor-Am titles. She was stoked with her athletes’ results against more experienced racers who are likely to be riding in FIS competition next year.

“Being that it was (each racer’s) first race, the results are very exciting!” she beamed.

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