An aboriginal organization hosted a youth volleyball camp at Merritt Secondary School last weekend and their local representative promises much more support for native youths in sports.
Bernard Manuel, regional sport and physical activity co-ordinator for the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation, and Physical Activity Partners Council, says he plans to organize weekend programs for soccer, basketball, softball, and track and field as those seasons approach.
“I’m looking at doing some coaching clinics and also some athlete-development camps,” he adds.
Manuel says 40 native youths between the ages of 10 and 17 signed up for the volleyball camp at Merritt Secondary.
Of the participants, 24 are from Merritt and area bands while the remainder came from Lillooet, Enderby, Cache Creek, Clinton, Coquitlam, and Kamloops.
The volleyball camp developed the young participants’ skills and then tested them in a series of games, Manuel says. A coach from Volleyball B.C. helped the campers improve their game.
Manuel notes that diabetes and high blood pressure are frequent health problems in First Nations communities, indicating a lack of exercise and activity among members.
“The level of inactivity has risen over the last five, six years.”
“They just want to get the kids back in sport,” he said of the council’s goal.
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