NEW CREDIT – An event planned to showcase some of the sports that will be played at the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) within the Mississaugas of the New Credit Firs Nation Community, also recognized three young athletes from the community that will be representing in the upcoming NAIG event.
Both Mackenzie General and Ryann LaForme will be playing baseball, and Caleb Deuce Martin will be playing golf as representative athletes for Team Ontario.
NAIG 2017 Communications Coordinator Brittney Sault explained that the community feast that followed the opening remarks by several officials and the announcement of the partnership with Hydro One, also opened the doors to recognize the triumphs of the athletes.
“We’re here celebrating the athletes,” said Sault. “It’s amazing that we have three here that are a part of Team Ontario.”
General has been playing for four years from the PW level, and LaForme has been playing for six. Both agreed that they’re feeling a lot of pride in being able to play as representatives from their home community.
“Personally I feel very proud [to be able to represent my community],” said Laforme. “Not a lot of kids are able to actually go out and do stuff like this because they don’t have support at home.”
While General explained that she understand that she has new responsibilities as a youth athlete.
“I feel like I’m being a role model to younger people because I’m showing them how far, if you’re dedicated to a sport, how far you can go,” said General.
Both of them explained that they enjoy where baseball has taken them to this point, and LaForme said she has her sights set on climbing higher.
“I want to play college ball and I want to eventually get to the Junior National level and then Senior, Team Canada.”
As players on Team Ontario, the two will be playing as a unit with other indigenous athletes from across Ontario. They both said that they enjoyed the experience of meeting their teammates.
“I thought it was really cool because you get to meet new people and get to know their interests and where they come from, their back ground and how their community is different from ours,” said LaForme.
“We got to show them what we have here, and got to learn about what they do and we bonded,” said General.
The games are set to begin later this summer.