Nuxalk Nation athletes returned home with four medals from the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) held in Halifax July 15 to 23.
Coach Sony Legault said he was there encouraging the kids to give it their all, and said they took that to heart and ran with it.
“They just left everything out there. They made new friends…It’s going to be a great step up for next year,” Legault said.
The NAIG combined 5,000 athletes, coaches, and team staff representing more than 476 Indigenous nations, and the athletes fared well in their respective competitions.
Legault said the Nuxalk athletes from Bella Coola represented their nation with the highest number of athletes attending simultaneously.
Danny Legault won the silver medal in his discus shot put competition. In the U16 100-metre, he finished 9th, won the bronze medal in his high jump, and finally finished 5th in the javelin category. Legault was also a part of the 4x100m relay, where he and his team finished 6th place.
B.C. U16 girl’s basketball athlete Kashlyn Mack took home the bronze medal and led her team to victory in their final game by scoring 11 points.
Eli Hall won the bronze medal in the U16 4x400m relay, placed 9th in the 800-metre race, and won 11th place in the U16 boy’s long jump competition. In the shot put competition, he placed 7th and teamed up with Legault to secure 6th place in the 4x100m relay race. Unfortunately, after rolling his ankle late in the competition Hall could not complete his cross-country running competition but was cheering on the other participants.
In the 300-metre race, Nathaniel Schooner finished 12th place in the 800-metre and 1200-meter long-distance races.
Tristen Sellars finished in 4th place in the 4x100m relay, 19th in his 400-meter race, 17th in the 1500-meter long-distance run, and 6th in the U19 4x100m relay
Shaylen Moody finished 6th place in her respective shot put competition, 9th place in discus shot put, and 8th in javelin.
Legault said the athletes took the initiative of making acquaintances with other members and asking other teams for advice to better their performances.
“He (Eli) met a guy from New Mexico on Team USA, and he was asking him for all the tips and tricks to keep running, you know, keep improving.”
Legault said Danny got advice from the gold medal winner from his respective competitions for guidance on how to run faster and jump higher.
“I just want to say how proud I am of everyone opening their eyes. Here is mainly big for basketball, but with the track going out, I think it’s going to be the younger kids that will look up to them. They’re going to become leaders now,” said Legault.
Calgary has been chosen to host the next NAIG, which will take place in 2027 on Turtle Island, and Legault says he’s confident they will have even more trained athletes to represent the Nuxalk Nation.
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