Indigenous Games a wonderful experience: Katara White

Dave Kearsey
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Katara White is proud of who she is, so getting a chance to immerse herself in an athletic event with those who share a common thread was an amazing experience.

White, a 15-year-old Stephenville Mi’kmaq, was a member of the Aboriginal Sport and Recreation of Newfoundland and Labrador contingent that participated in the 2014 North American Indigenous Games held recently in Regina, Sask.

“It feels really good to actually be able to talk to people who are kind of the same and it was a really good experience getting to know the other cultures of other aboriginal people,” White said of the week-long venture out west.

The Games is designed to showcase unity, sport, culture, youth, volunteerism and team work between First Nations, Metis and Non-Indigenous communities.

Getting to test herself against other indigenous people from across the country in sport was something she enjoyed and a collection of hardware for her efforts certainly made her hard work worth every ounce of pain.

“It was an amazing experience running with everyone, and I was proud of my personal best and how I achieved,” she said.

White had one gold, one silver and three bronze dangling around her neck when the Games closed. She won gold in javelin and  won silver in the 4x400 relay with Bethany George, Taylor Rae Bennett and Kara Alexander. Her bronze medals came in 100-m race, 200-m race and standing long jump.

Her collection was part of the province’s medal haul of 34 medals — nine gold, 10 silver and 15 bronze.

No doubt, she was happy to see so many of her native friends pick up medals, but it was also a great opportunity to learn more about her own culture and others who come from other backgrounds but take pride in being among the indigenous community.

She enjoyed going to the Games Village where all hands celebrated their culture with dance and song. She also liked having a chance to learn to sing different songs and learn some different languages.

It was nice to meet and share ideas with newfound friends, but White was particularly pleased to have so many of her fellow Bay St. George Mi’kmaq join her for the journey.

But, having her brother, 17-year-old Donovan, with her on the trip certainly made it special.

She said her brother was always encouraging her from the sidelines and for having the ability to pick her up when she was stressed out or not feeling good about the way her training was going as she prepared for the Games.

“I really liked how my brother was next to my side the whole time through it,” she said. “We were able to learn more about our culture together so that was really nice.”

The following is a look at how local athletes with the Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Circle

of Newfoundland and Labrador fared at the 2014 North American Indigenous Games held

recently in Regina, Sask.:

Athletics

Bethany George — silver 4x400 relay

Taylor Rae Bennett — silver 4x400 relay

Kara Alexander — silver 4x400 relay

Katara White — silver 4x400 relay, gold javelin,

bronze 100-m race, 2000-m and long standing

jump

Jesse Byrne — one gold, one silver, two bronze

Holly Brochu — one gold

Jacob Byrne — one gold, one bronze

Cameron Cornect — one bronze

Badminton

Emily Alexander — two gold, one bronze

Swimming

Chandler White (age 16) – 8 medals (1 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze individual medals plus 3 Relay Bronze medals)

 

 50m Butterfly – Gold

 50m Freestyle – Silver

200m Backstroke – Silver

100m Freestyle – Bronze

50m Back stroke – Bronze

100m Back stroke – 4th

 

Jessica Dyson – (age 15) – 5 medals (2 Bronze individual medals plus 3 Relay Bronze medals)

800m Freestyle – Bronze

200m Breaststroke - Bronze

100m Back stroke  – 4th

400m Freestyle – 5th

100m Breaststroke  – 5th

200m Individual Medley – 7th

 

Ryan Parsons – (age 13) – 3 medals (3 Relay Bronze medals)

100m Freestyle – 4th

50m Back stroke – 4th

100m Back stroke – 4th

50m Butterfly – 4th

50m Breaststroke – 5th

50m Freestyle – 6th

 

Haylee Leroy – (age 13) – 3 medals (3 Relay Bronze medals)

50m Breaststroke – 6th

100m Breaststroke – 8th

100m Backstroke – 8th

50m Backstroke – 13th

100m Freestyle – 15th

50m Freestyle – 16th

VolleyballTeam finished eigthth overall

Taylor Retieffe

Dereka Morgan Salemi

Wrestling

Kirkland Beanland — one silver

Spencer Campbell — one gold

 

 

Organizations: Aboriginal Sport and Recreation, North American, First Nations

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Regina, Sask., Games Village

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Recent comments

  • Leonard Roxon
    August 09, 2014 - 10:38

    Excellent article and absolutely loved the performances of Donovan and Katara. Truly admirable. I also loved these Games, despite various setbacks there. I know that all the kids had a great a time there. I am just a little disappointed that NONE of the other athletes who went to these Games and won medals are mentioned. For example, Chandler White (one of my swimmers) who got 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 5 Bronze medals (3 Bronze of that was the swimming relay team) for a total of 8 medals of the 34 that NL team achieved. Not to take away from this beautiful article by the Western Star, but I think TEAM NL should have done a news release to the local news agencies mentioning all athletes might have been worthwhile.