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Brown wins four medals in track and field at Atlantic competition
Madison Brown’s four-medal performance in track and field highlighted a strong Team P.E.I. performance at the first-ever Atlantic Indigenous Games in Halifax, N.S., over the weekend.
The 12-year-old from North Bedeque medalled in all of her events, winning three gold in the 400 (1:14:41), 800 (2:52:77) and 1,500 metres (6:02:37) and bronze in the long jump (3.18 metres).
“It feels pretty amazing,” Madison told the Journal Pioneer in a phone interview. “It took a lot of work to get here, time and effort.”
Madison said she was “prepared to get a medal” entering the competition.
“I surprised myself in the 400 metres,” said Madison. “I have done track and field many times before, but I have never done the 400.
“It also surprised me when I got bronze in the long jump because I had never done long jump either.”
Madison also ran the 1,500 metres for the first time, but acknowledged she has previous long-distance running experience.
“Certainly, it was an incredible performance,” said Lynn Anne Hogan, Team P.E.I.’s chef de mission. “It just goes to show the dedication and commitment Madison has to sport and becoming a better all-around athlete.
“She’s a high-level swimmer and track and field athlete, she plays a lot of sports in school and you can see she commits to it and personally wants to become a better athlete.”
Trenna Mitchell of Lennox Island also took home a medal in track and field, earning earned silver in shot put with a throw of 7.62 metres.
Team P.E.I., which featured the fewest number of athletes, finished third in the medal count behind Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. New Brunswick was fourth.
“Yes, it’s a competition and having medals is certainly important, but like I’ve said before there are so many more benefits to sport and that can change these kids’ lives,” said Hogan. “That’s really what it’s all about. Kids like Madison, Trenna Mitchell getting medals (Saturday) and the badminton crew, that’s inspiring the next group of athletes to want to dream to go to NAIG (North American Indigenous Games) and have a medal around their neck. That’s pretty powerful.”
Nikeda Sark led P.E.I.’s strong showing on the badminton court. She teamed with Keely Dyment of Lennox Island First Nation to defeat a Newfoundland and Labrador team 8-21, 21-12, 21-16 in the girls doubles gold-medal match and took home a silver medal in singles, losing to a Newfoundland and Labrador competitor 21-16, 17-21, 17-21 in the gold-medal match.
Mikey Perry of Brackley and Kavon Bernard of Lennox Island won an all-P.E.I. bronze-medal match against Lennox Island’s Landon Augustine and Dylan Sapier in boys doubles. Scores were 17-21, 22-20, 21-17.
“The whole badminton team is led by Robin Enman from Miscouche,” said Hogan. “He really instills an amazing work ethic in the athletes.
“They respect what he wants out of them and they work hard to do it. With Mackenzie (Thomas) coming on as a first-time badminton coach, it was pretty phenomenal to see her co-leading the group with Robin and the respect the whole crew had for her. She really took that role on and I couldn’t be more impressed with her. The entire badminton crew did well.”
Click here for story on Mackenzie Thomas making the transition from athlete to coach:
Carmen Jadis and Desrea Knockwood of Abegweit First Nation represented P.E.I. in beach volleyball, which was a demonstration sport at the Atlantic Games. Beach volleyball will be part of the 2020 NAIG for the first time.
Hogan noted, the provinces used the Atlantic competition as a development opportunity.
“We brought two girls who have never really played indoor or beach volleyball and we spent a day and a half working with beach volleyball coaches here in Nova Scotia,” said Hogan. “I tell you, I totally had tears in my eyes when we finished (Saturday).
“If you could have seen them (Friday), where they were not sure what to expect, didn’t really know the rules or know anything about the game, to the end of the day (Saturday), they are scrimmaging, asking questions, they are serving, passing.”
Carmen and Desrea’s efforts did not go unnoticed.
“What the organizers decided was that even though it was not a competition they felt those girls had a gold-medal performance (Saturday) developing their skills,” said Hogan. “It was certainly an honour to witness them receiving their gold medals.
“They didn’t win it through competition, but they certainly won it through hard work and we are really pleased with that.”
Did You Knox
- The Atlantic Indigenous Games, held last weekend in Halifax, N.S., brought together over 325 Indigenous youth aged 18 and under for the purposes of cultural enrichment, physical training and competition.
- Team P.E.I. was represented by 28 athletes and nine support staff in track and field, badminton and beach volleyball.
- The Atlantic Indigenous Games took place exactly one year out from the 2020 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), which will also be hosted in Halifax.
- Tryouts for Team P.E.I.’s entry at the 2020 NAIG will begin as early as this summer.
- “Over the summer we will be looking at the sports we want to commit to for NAIG 2020,” said Team P.E.I. chef de mission Lynn Anne Hogan. “We’ll certainly be represented in more than the three sports we were this weekend.
- “Some tryouts, like golf for an example, will begin this summer, but we hope to have the teams selected before Christmas, which will be different for us and much earlier. We are going to take training quite seriously and we will be working with nutritionists, sports psychologists, physical training and we want to get this team together, we want to jell and be ready to go into the New Year to really make an impact at NAIG.”