Joy Spear Chief-Morris, a Blackfoot from Alberta's Blood Tribe ran a personal best in the 100m hurdles and placed 5th in the finals of the recent World University Games in Naples, Italy.
Joy won the Tom Longboat Award as the female athlete of the year by the Aboriginal Sport Circle in 2017 after an outsatnding career in U Sport track and field at Western University in London, Ontario.
She graduated with a degree in History and First Nations studies and now works as an assistant Indigenous Services Program Coordinator at Western University.
Joy said "I play a critical role in assisting in the delivery of programs and services geared towards currentand prospective Indigenous students, as well as Indigenous youth outreach at Western University. I assist in the daily operations of the Indigenous Services Centre, actively engage with staff, students and community partners, and support the planning and organizing of cultural, social and academic events. Her goal is to represent Canada at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The Rainforest Trail Run, a five-kilometre fun run through the scenic trails of popular Central Park in Burnaby, was conceived by the Vancouver Sun Run founders as a way to help stimulate physical activity among people in local Indigenous communities.
All runners are encouraged to take part, but a special focus of the initial organizers, the Achilles International Track and Field Society, will be on training Indigenous coaches and leaders to promote participation, either through running or walking, within their communities.
The run’s location offers a unique setting, blending the well-preserved temperate rainforest ecosystem of the 90-hectare park with vistas of Burnaby’s ever rising cityscape.
The start/finish inside Swangard Stadium will also feature an accompanying public event that will celebrate the heritage of Canada’s Indigenous culture.
“This event provides an opportunity for a greater understanding of our Indigenous culture through the sharing of art and music in a festival-like atmosphere,” says Dr. Doug Clement, president of the Achilles Society.
“The general public will be exposed to thousands of years of rich evolution of the Indigenous patterns, while at the same sharing in positive approaches to optimal lifestyles via exercise and nutrition.”
The inaugural 5K run on Sept. 29 will be held one year after the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame opened its new Indigenous Sport Gallery celebrating the many contributions to sport by First Nations athletes, teams, coaches and builders in B.C.