Bernard Manuel with Aboriginal Sports

Bernard Manuel with Aboriginal Sports

Forum brings empowerment to youth at Tsi Del Del

Learn to lead yourself, work hard, always finish what you start and turn negative experiences into positive action.

Learn to lead yourself, work hard, always finish what you start and turn negative experiences into positive action.

That’s part of the message RCMP First Nations Const. Troy Derrick from Surrey shared with youth at Tsi Del Del (Alexis Creek First Nation) School Wednesday afternoon.

“The two things you have ultimate control over are your attitude and your effort,” Derrick told students gathered in the gym. “They are two things no one can give to you or take from you.”

Derrick, along with former BC Lion JR LaRose and Bernard Manuel from the Aboriginal Sports Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council were in the community Wednesday and Thursday as part of a youth forum.

On Thursday Derrick planned to work with students using some of the exercises from Code Blue, a program aimed at building inner strength, self-discipline and confidence in Surrey’s high school students he initiated in 2013.

LaRose shared details of his life, growing up with a single drug-addicted mother and having abandonment issues.

Those facts did not stand in the way of pursuing his dream to become a professional football player, he told the students.

“I overcame my upbringing and surrounded myself with positive people,” he said. “Your Chief told you it starts with the choices you make. You need to look to good role models.”

He was going to share some football knowledge practically with the students on Thursday as well.

Manuel has been setting up sports clinics and camps through Aboriginal Sports and Recreation for the last four years in communities across the province.

He asked the students why they enjoy sports.

As hands shot up from the audience, the students said to keep active, fit and have fun.

On Thursday the students were going to try lacrosse and archery with Manuel.

“If there’s a sport you would like to try let me know because I can bring camps to your community,” Manuel said. “In June we will be holding an archery camp in Williams Lake and a hockey camp in Kamloops from Aug. 22 -26.”

The students also had a Skype interview with two students studying at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.

Samantha Horth, 19, is a volleyball player from Surrey studying architecture and Matthew Hans, 19, is a Lacrosse player from Kamloops.

The two are recipients of this year’s Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport.

“I would say ask for help,” Horth replied when asked about facing challenges. “There are so many people around who care about you.”

Hans also stressed the importance of education.

“Stay committed in school because education is big,” Hans said. “Sports are a lot of fun, but education can take you further.”

Tsi Del Del Chief Ervin Charleyboy initiated the forum by contacting Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett for help.

“I like to get the students working on setting goals,” Charleyboy said. “I was happy to see how engaged the kids were this afternoon.”