First Nations Sports Program Making Impact

The H’ulh-etun Health Society has created a community youth program for the Penelakut, Malahat, and Lyackson First Nations bands, reports  This non-profit organization is funded through the Vancouver Island Health Authority and Health Canada.

Every Friday and every other Saturday kids from ages 11 to 18 are playing soccer, lacrosse, football, baseball, and even learning how to box.  Along with the athletics, these kids are being taught about diabetes and obesity, as well as injury management, athlete self-care, basic anatomy and physiology information to help them all become the best athletes they can be, the reports.

One of the instructors is Dave Warbeck. Warbeck has done massage therapy for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and is helping the kids get, and stay, healthy.  If Riley “Breakaway Speed” Jack is any indication, the program seems to be working wonders.  The young man has trained with the help of the program’s instructors and mentors and runs a lighting fast 4.43 40-yard dash. His step-sister, Nicole Jack, has learned healthy eating habits from the program and has already lost 17 pounds.

“We’re starting to eat healthy, not as much calories and stuff — vegetables and the greens,’’ she told

So far it seems the program is living up to its mission statement: To “inspire, build self-esteem and develop future community leaders through sport.’’


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First Nations Sports Program Making Impact