Showcasing Northern Athletes
NSCRD showcases some of the top Northern athletes who are pursuing sport as a career. Some of these athletes have attended the Sask Provincial Games for Team North; others have travelled south to join club teams; and some are even making it big on the national stage. If you know any athletes that you would like to see showcased on our website that grew up in the Northern District, please give Ryan a call at (306) 688-2122 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking to be a member of the U of S Basketball Team
Emma Smallwood born and raised in La Ronge Saskatchewan, started playing sports at the age of 2. Emma started out as a skier at the age of 2 and has many family memories in the process with spending lots of time with her family at the ski hill. At the age of 11 she took part in basketball. Her brother played and she soon knew that she wanted to learn more about the posrt and take part.
As Emma got older she has many people that played as role models in her sporting life. Her basketball coach David Shearer helped her reach her goals and pushed her to be a better player and an all around person. Emma is proud to say she wouldn't be the person she is today without his support.
Emma is very proud of the many sporting achievements she has received throughout her high school years. She excelled in many sports not just basketball. She participated in the 2011 Canada Winter games in skiing, Won 2nd and 3rd in Hoopla Basketball in consecutive years, 1st place in rugby provincials in 2013 and 2014 and finally 2013 3rd place finish in soccer provincials. Emma clearly has a gift in many sports and her success followed every team she was part of.
Emma plans to try out for the University of Saskatchewan female basketball team and get a nutrition degree. Then ultimately coach basketball some day. Emma currently participates many sports for fun as she tries to concentrate on her degree.
Canoeing, Hometown: Pelican Narrows
Summer's achievements are long, as she won numerous Gold medals at First Nation games, Gold, Silver medals at the Saskatchewan Games in Meadow Lake 2012, and just this summer won 4 Gold and 1 Silver at the NAIG games in Regina. When asked what were her favorite moments at these events, Summer stated " having friends and family being part of it"
Summer currently goes to School in Prince Albert at the FNUC studying arts and science, and even though she is unclear of her career one thing is for sure she wants to continue to paddle, more specially become a coach and share her skills with future Northerners.
Volleyball, Hometown: La Loche
Exceptionally talented he emerged as Keyano College's most decorated student athlete in its history. In the years he won the CCAA Volleyball Player of the Year he was also a member of the Al-Canadian team and was CCAA National Tournament All-Star in 2009.
Alwyn is the ACAC's all-time points leader in Men's volleyball while also ranking first in all-time aces, second in kills and tenth in digs.
Piche now works for Suncor in Fort McMurray as a mechanic, using his community as his home base.
Wrestling, Hometown: Patuanak
Sydney has many accomplishments in the past few years. She claimed 2nd in 2013 in regionals after training and being gone for about 4 months. The first time Sydney went to Nationals was in 2013 held in Saskatoon and she claimed 5th. From there in 2014 she claimed 4th in Nationals in Guelph Ontario. A experience she would never forget claimed Sydney. All those events were made possible from all the medals I won growing up in elementary and high School which gave me the confidence and belief that I could compete at the high of level.
My most favorite moment as a wrestler was still going to National in Ontario, it was a lifetime experience.
Currently Sydney lives in Prince Albert and plans to attend the University of Saskatchewan next fall and plans to try out for the wrestling team. If that doesn't work out she would like to give back by either being a coach or a referee.
Sydney's advice for kids involved in sport is to work hard, train hard and remember sometimes its not always about winning but if you to put the work in eventually it will pay off and you will accomplish your goals.
Volleyball, Hometown: La Ronge
One of Carmen's greatest moments in sport was becoming the captain of her college Lakeland team, it was a dream that she thought was just a dream. Carmen has now hung up her shoes playing out her 5 years of eligibility and just play's recreational whenever she can.
Carmen's message for younger volleyball kids; " if you love sport than just keep playing, don't hold back because you think you won't go anywhere, you never know who is watching you and taking notice. It is about enjoying your time in sport with your teammates and if you see an opportunity then run with it and take responsibility for your future and seize the opportunity."
Football, Hometown: La Ronge
Connor then took to football when he started grade 7 when his teacher Gabe Andrews got 2 U of S Huskies to come down to La Ronge to run a week long spring camp. Connor's main supporters now in football are currently his parents and his coach (Gabe Andrews). My proudest moment in football came in grade 10 when we had our first game against Big River Beavers on our home field in La Ronge. Our coach gave us a very inspirational speech about getting first downs, getting our first hit, and scoring our first touchdown. I was able to get them all and be on the winning side of a 36-24 win, with him scoring all the touchdowns.
I currently still play for the Churchill Chargers and have future plans to either play for the U of S Huskies or Regina Thunder.
My advice for younger kids who plan to play sports is to never give up no matter how much criticism you get it will help you advance in the long run, and secondly if you don't get it right in practice then do it over and over till you can master it for the game.
Cross Country Skiing, Hometown: La Ronge
Dylan started skiing when he was 5 years of age when his mother signed him up in skiing for the La Ronge ski club. After that Dylan trained and competed every winter to where he is at today and what he plans to accomplish in the coming years.
Dylan is currently 17 years old and plans to get ready for Nationals in Newfoundland on March 13th, 2014. He then hopes he can compete to make Canada Winter Games and Westerns that will happen in 2015 in Alberta and BC.
Dylan loves the sport of cross country skiing because he loves to compete and train and its a very mental sport that challenges him each and every day to get better. Dylan hopes to inspire other La Ronge ski Club kids to continue to grow and compete and try out for competitions as they present themselves. He is also wishes all the kids heading to PA for the 2014 Sask Winter Games goodluck as he competed in Moose Jaw and medaled for Team North at the 2010 games and knows how much fun they will have.
Chelsa Marie Aistine
Volleyball, Hometown: Wollaston Lake
When I was in elementary school, I started playing volleyball with the school staff during the evenings. My mother was the principal, so I would tag along with her. They let me participate with them. I learned a lot by being involved and by watching. In grade 7 and 8 we had a junior team at school and actually went to tournaments. Travelling to tournaments was a big deal for us, considering we lived in Wollaston Lake (approximately 800 North of Saskatoon).. It was rare for Mr. Bob Magee and Ms Julie Andrews (Pearson) coached these teams. I remember going to play in La Ronge at the high school. It was a long trip with but we had lots of fun.
During the summer holidays, I would attend volleyball camps in Meadow Lake and Saskatoon. I often won the awards for the most promising player when I was young, that really encouraged me to keep going. During the winter of 2008, I tried out for the Saskatchewan Bantam Team to attend the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) and I made the team as the setter. Setting has always come very natural to me. That spring and summer we had a lot of practices which required travel to Saskatoon from Wollaston Lake. My mom did a lot of fundraising for this. I also attended as many volleyball camps as I could that summer. We had a great team and I was able to play every game during the NAIG tournament and we won gold.
We moved to Prince Albert in 2008. I attended St. Mary’s High School where I played as the setter for my entire tenure. I also played club volleyball and attended Nationals in 2012 in BC. I always had great coaches and I practiced a lot!! We had practice every day after school, two mornings a week for setters, and I also took the volleyball academy class at school. It took a lot of hard work and dedication. One day I counted how many times I set the ball in a day and it was over 500. That is how you get good at what you do - practice, training, and muscle memory.
I had the opportunity to attend college in Calgary and play there, but I chose to stay close to home. Now I play on various competitive and non-competitive league teams in Saskatoon, as well as weekend tournament with the many great friends I’ve gained through volleyball. This past summer, I traveled to Arizona to represent Canada at the North American Indigenous Games for Adults. Again, my team won gold. It was a great experience and I would love to go again.
My advice to anyone who wants to excel in a sport is to spend a lot of time training, learning, and listening to the coaches. You also need a great support system behind you - thank goodness my parents pushed me and supported me in everything I did. They expected me to always do my best and were willing to support me if I put in the effort. Also, seek out others who you can learn from and take their advice. I had so many people help me and encourage me along the way, and thanks to them, I am a better player, and more importantly, a better person. Although I am only 19 years old, I feel I have enough experience to help mentor players who are younger than I am. I know the amount of support they need. As of right now, I’m in the midst of getting my coaching certification so I can hopefully help coach youth at the North American Indigenous Games.
Mixed Martial Arts, Hometown: La Ronge
Devon currently lives in the La Ronge area and hopes that more kids continue to pursue there dreams in whatever sport they want to do.
Hockey, Hometown: Beauval
Eric Loves the game hockey and hopes more kids from his community strive to work hard to accomplish their goals. Eric tells kids never to give up and believe that what your doing will pay off in the end. Eric left home at the age of 14 to play in Prince Albert and never stopped believing he could get drafted.
The NSCRD and all of Northern Sask wishes Eric a great season in Brandon and we look forward to seeing him in Calgary one day. I would like to thank Eric for giving me a few minutes and telling me a little bit of his story.