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Cowichan athletes making headlines

Cowichan Bay’s Eli McKamey, a forward on Shawnigan Lake School’s U18 prep team, was drafted in the second round, 35th overall, at the WHL Prospects draft on May 9.

The 15-year-old appeared in 28 games for Shawnigan Lake this past season, scoring 23 goals — to tie for eighth most in the CSSHL —and adding 25 assists for 48 points, the third most points on the Shawnigan U18 prep team.

All told 280 picks were made in the draft, and McKamey, who stands at 6 foot 1, was the third pick of the Victoria Royals and one of 11 the team selected overall.

McKamey is a product of the Kerry Park Minor Hockey system.


Duncan’s Jaxson Jones, a forward with the Cowichan Rugby Club and University of Victoria, is one of 36 Canadian U20 rugby players at camp at Shawnigan Lake School preparing for two matches against the United States for qualification for the World Rugby U20 Trophy.

The six foot forward and his team will have their first match against the Americans on June 1 at Shawnigan Lake School. This will be followed by a June 6 match at Starlight Stadium in Langford.

The winner of the series will join seven other teams in Edinburgh, Scotland from July 2 to 17 for the 2024 World Rugby U20 Trophy, the winner of which will earn promotion to the World Rugby U20 Championship for 2024.

Jones graduated from Cowichan Secondary School.


Duncan’s Christina Van Aert set a new Canadian record in Women’s Singles with handicap with a score of 852 at the Canadian Mixed Championships May 9-12 in Kitchener, Ont. The score put her atop the singles women for a time only to be bested by two different bowlers, who also broke the record, in the following days.


Shawnigan Lake School goalie Alex Nelson and her U18 female Team BC teammates earned a bronze medal at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Grand Prairie, Alta. on May 11. So too did the Team BC U18 male side, which featured Kerry Park Islanders forward Jacob Wingfield and Wyatt Blace, of Crofton.


Three athletes with ties to the Cowichan Valley have received the 2023 Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport for the Vancouver Island Region.

Alex Nelson (hockey), Ava Ocean Jack (soccer, basketball & war canoe), Ben Brant (hockey) and Carter Blace (lacrosse) were among the 36 awardees.

“Congratulations to this year’s regional recipients. We are thrilled to be celebrating the outstanding achievements of Indigenous athletes from such a wide range of sports,” said Rick Brant, I·SPARC CEO. “The Premier’s Awards provide an important platform for us to share the inspirational stories of Indigenous athletes from across all six regions of the province. We look forward to following your growth as athletes and leaders within your communities!”

The regional recipients automatically serve as nominees for the Provincial Awards, which will be announced later this year.