The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
Thursday, June 20, 2019 – 12:00 p.m.
Athletes and coaches; students and educators; fans and supporters of Manitoba’s youth – welcome to Government House and this celebration of excellence.
We are gathered on Treaty One land, on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Metis people.
I’d like to begin by acknowledging that the Anishinaabe and Metis people lived along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers long before this place became Winnipeg. And this city remains home to the largest Indigenous community in Canada.
The award ceremony each year for the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association Scholar Athletes of the Year is always an inspiring way to mark the start of summer.
Another school year is ending and another class of Manitoba high school graduates is heading out into adult life with hope, enthusiasm, curiosity and drive.
Thousands of those graduates every year have learned some of their most important life lessons through high school sports.
They’ve learned to win and lose with grace. They’ve learned to envision and work toward a goal. They’ve learned to be mindful of the present moment – in the gym, on the field, or on the ice. They know what it is to be part of a team.
For thousands of each year’s graduating students, those life lessons learned through sports have helped them in their academic challenges. They’ve learned discipline and problem-solving approaches that have helped them focus on solving equations or interpreting Shakespearean soliloquies.
All of that is especially true for today’s award recipients, chosen for the academic excellence and their participation in at least two high school sports.
To achieve what they have, has required years of hard work and dedication both to their studies and to their sports.
But it has also required the support of teachers, coaches and family.
I’m sure each one of you has had teachers who have made an extra effort to inspire you. Each of you has benefitted from the insights and encouragement of coaches who give their time out of a belief in the value of sport. Of course, I’m sure the cheering of family members – not to mention transportation to sports venues at all hours – has been a common feature in your lives.
Your successes and the personal qualities that brought you this far will set you on a path where you can return the favour.
In the years to come, you’ll have the opportunity to use the leadership abilities you’ve developed to build a stronger community.
Whatever way of giving back you choose, you’ll find that the vision, drive and enthusiasm you’ve demonstrated in earning this award will come in handy.
Congratulations on this honour and this achievement. May the years ahead be filled with further exciting challenges for each of you.
Thank you. Merci. Meegwich.