After Two Years Hiatus, Hundreds of First Nations Youth from Across BC to Compete in the 2022 Junior All Native Basketball Tournament
Westbank, Syilx Territory: From March 20-25, 2022, Syilx Basketball is hosting the Junior All Native Basketball Tournament (JANT) in Kelowna, BC. This grassroots basketball tournament is one of the largest gatherings of young First Nations athletes from across BC — with an estimated 870 athletes between the ages of 9 - 17 from 65 teams competing this year. JANT is more than just a tournament but is a part of First Nation’s communities and culture, where people come together to compete, see old friends, and make new ones.
“This annual tournament is about much more than basketball, it is a thread that has connected our communities for many years. We’re so excited to be able to host JANT on our beautiful Syilx territory — to finally come together as Nations, not just to compete, but to hold up our children, culture, and communities. It also provides an opportunity to foster and promote wellness, sportsmanship, leadership, and nation pride amongst First Nations youth, and in light of the 215, celebrating our children is so important,” Tara Montgomery, JANT Tournament Director, states.
Over the last two years this annual event has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has greatly impeded the ability for First Nations communities to gather and connect. It has also had devastating impacts on First Nations youth throughout the province, who have been isolated and unable to take part in sports that foster physical and mental health.
Richard Jock, FNHA CEO also states, “At FNHA we are extremely aware of the profound impacts that COVID-19 has had on First Nation people’s health, and so understand just how important this year’s Junior All Native Tournament is for the youth and communities. Furthermore, we’re proud to support this tournament as it inspires Indigenous youth to become leaders in sport and wellness—not only here, but also when they return home to their communities, and families.”
Syilx Basketball hosted JANT in Kelowna in 2017. The Junior All Native has also previously been hosted in Kitimat (2019) and Vancouver (2018). The event will be held in four locations across Kelowna. Opening ceremonies will take place on March 20, 2022, with the further details to be announced soon.
JANT takes the time and energy of coaches, parents, community supporters and families to make this event happen and is what makes such a gathering truly amazing. We are also grateful for the support of FNHA, the Province of BC, ONA and other organizations for the continued support this event. Schedules and opportunities to spectate are on our website at jrallnative.ca and Instagram at @JANT2022.
For further info contact:
Tara Montgomery, Tournament Director
t: 1-250-862-6866 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
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