The Aboriginal Sport Circle and the Canada Games Council are pleased to announce the selected officials for the 2019 Canada Winter Games Indigenous Officials Mentorship pilot. A pilot program for the 2019 Canada Winter Games, the Canada Games Indigenous Mentorship Program - Officials (IMPO), will bring indigenous officials from across Canada to the Canada Games for a once in a lifetime opportunity for observation and mentorship with NSO certified technical officials. Five officials have been selected to take part in this pilot program from three different sports.
Kari Durban (BC)
Taylor Tsakoza (BC)
Sonya Jensen (BC)
Matthew Sault (ON)
Kelvin Johnston (BC)
Sonya Jensen is an archery official from who began her officials training in February 2018, where she was a trainee at the BC Winter Games. Sonya is pleased to be a part of the 2019 Canada Winter Games Indigenous Officials Mentorship program as she believes “that with this training I can expand my learning experience with the sport of Archery and bring teachings that I learn to my community and archery program.”
Kari Durban is a Women’s Hockey Official from who is currently a Level 3 official and has 4 years of experience officiating. Kari looks at this opportunity as the “stepping stone to my target of one day being able to officiate hockey at an international level. This program would give me the experience and it would give me the knowledge to be able to guide and teach younger female officials.”
Taylor Tsakoza is a Women’s Hockey Official who has achieved her Level 2 officials’ certificate. Taylor believes the 2019 Canada Winter Games Indigenous Officials Mentorship program “is exactly what the sporting world needs in terms of reconciling and better understanding Indigenous People. Sport in Indigenous communities is so much more than just sport, the best way I could describe it is that sport for us is like ceremony”
Kelvin Johnston is a snowboard official who is currently a Level 1 official. Kelvin is a current Level 1 official who has officiated at Snowboard Nationals previously and is looking to upgrade to a Level 2. Kelvin feels this will be a great opportunity to learn any new rules and regulations in the sport, as well as an opportunity for athletes to see that there are opportunities within the sport after they are finished their competition career.
Matthew Sault is an archery official who has a long history in the sport of archery. Matthew is looking to use is knowledge and experienced gained from this program to “to help grow the sport of archery in my home community and be a positive role model and example of the opportunities archery can provide in life.”
“We are thrilled to be working with our tremendous partners on creating this unique opportunity for Indigenous officials to learn from some of Canada’s top officials,” says Tom Quinn, Canada Games Council Chairman. “Congratulations to the five officials who have been selected to take part in this pilot program.”
About the Canada Games
Held once every two years, alternating between winter and summer, the Canada Games represent the highest level of national competition for up and coming Canadian athletes. The Games have been hosted in every province at least once since their inception in Quebec City during Canada’s Centennial in 1967. The Games are proud of their contribution to Canada’s sport development system in addition to their lasting legacy of sport facilities, community pride and national unity.
The 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer will be held from February 15th to March 3rd. The 2021 Canada Summer Games will be held in the Niagara Region. The organization of the Canada Games is made possible thanks to the contribution and support of the Government of Canada, provincial/territorial governments, host municipalities and the Canada Games Council.