The North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) will be taking place in July, held in host city Halifax, and this year two teens from the Nuu-Chah-Nulth area will be taking part.
Jamie-Leigh Lucas and Hayleigh Watts of Port Alberni have been selected for 16U Team BC Softball roster, following tryouts across the province.
The NAIG has a storied history that can be traced back as far as 1971, when the first Native Summer Games was held in Alberta. The NAIG as we know it now was first held in 1990.
“We would like to send out a huge congratulations to Jamie-Leigh Lucas and Hayleigh Watts, who have been chosen to represent Team BC at this years North American Indigenous Games in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They are teammates on the u15B Blazers, and their commitment and dedication truly shows how hard work pays off,” says the Alberni Valley Minor Softball Association in a post to their Facebook page.
Lucas and Watts join a prestigious group of Nuu-Chah-Nulth competitors at the games, of which four others have received medals for their respective sports.
“[We] have to thank all her coaches, uncles, aunties, siblings, [grandmas] and [grandpas], and everyone for helping her get to his level,” says Jeff Gallic, father of Lucas.
The 2023 games will feature more than 5,000 representatives from 756 different nations across North America competing across 16 sports. Nova Scotia’s capital city Halifax will hold the majority of hosting responsibilities, alongside the city of Dartmouth and the Millbrook First Nation.
The games will run from July 15-23. All competitors are between the ages of 13 and 19.