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Empowering Indigenous Youth Through Sport and Play

Spirit North is a national charitable organization that empowers Indigenous youth to be unstoppable in sport, school, and life, through the transformative power of sport and play. In partnership with schools and organizations in over 60 communities across Canada, Spirit North has reached over 6,300 youth through their active, participation-based programs in 2019 and they want to reach even more youth in the future.

To help Spirit North achieve this goal, Cycling BC’s Head of Coach Development, Ben Chaddock, took a recent trip up to one of Spirit North’s locations in Hazelton, BC, to deliver the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Community Initiation and Basic Skills coaching courses to some of their staff and activity leaders from the region. The coach training sessions covered everything from planning a practice, cycling safety, risk management, ethical decision making, and of course, how to teach the basic skills and movements in cycling.

With their activity leaders all trained up, they are poised to deliver cycling as one of the many activities in Spirit North’s programs which also include cross-country skiing, canoeing, archery, running, and many other land-based games and activities.

Spirit North’s Community Outreach Leader, Sheena Briggs, who coordinates cross-country skiing, hiking, and recreation programs for youth at Witset First Nation and Kispiox First Nation, is planning on expanding her programs to include mountain biking this year. “We all left the training feeling very excited and prepared to start bike programming up after this session – this was exactly the training we were looking for to complement our existing programming,” said Briggs. “I’m looking forward to applying the skills and games with the kids!”

Cycling BC is honoured to have played a small part in supporting the tremendous work that Spirit North is doing for Indigenous youth to live healthy, active, and empowered lives.

For more information on Spirit North, please visit

For more information on becoming a cycling coach, go to