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Spruce Kings Colton Cameron looks to provide inspiration at 2023 Road Show in Burns Lake

Colton Cameron. Garrett James Photography

Colton Cameron understands that this weekend is about more than just a game.

The 20-year-old defenceman is enjoying his fourth year in the BCHL with the Prince George Spruce Kings and will be one of many players from the league arriving in Burns Lake, B.C. later this week to participate in the BCHL Road Show event, which sees his Spruce Kings taking on the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in a pair of regular-season games on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

While the event will be enjoyable for all the players, it should be extra special for Cameron. The weekend is being co-hosted by the Lake Babine Nation, one of the largest Indigenous bands in British Columbia. Cameron, who is Métis, is himself a role model in the Indigenous community, having been honoured by the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (ISPARC) as one of six recipients of the 2020 Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport.

The award is given to Indigenous youth who excel in sports and school and who also make an impact in the community.

“I think it’s important to embrace who you are and to embrace your heritage,” said Cameron. “You need to have dreams and to believe in them. You have to work hard to achieve them, but anything is possible.”

“It’s an honour just to know that there are kids looking up to you. I just hope that I can inspire even one person in the Indigenous community. It would just make my day.”

Having played in the league as long as he has, the Surrey product was also part of the league’s first Road Show back in 2020 in Kitimat, B.C., so he has a unique perspective of the event.

This edition of the Road Show in Burns Lake will include many of the same activities as the previous version, including school visits, minor hockey camps and other community engagements.

“It was so amazing seeing the kids’ faces when we went to the schools last time,” said Cameron. “Seeing them at the games as well, there was so much joy. It just means a lot that we can interact with the Indigenous community. I think it’s great for all the players that we get to be a part of that.”

It has been quite a ride for the 5-foot-11, 190-pound blueliner, who has 154 regular-season games in the BCHL under his belt. His first season in Prince George was back in 2019-20, he played in the pandemic-shortened 2021 pod season, then he had a breakout year offensively last year with 24 points in 54 games. All that being said, the biggest honour of his junior career came just a few months ago when he was named the Spruce Kings team captain.

“It’s such an amazing feeling, being the captain of such a great organization,” said Cameron. “Looking back to my first year and looking up to the captains, I knew I could go to them if I needed anything. The fact that I’m the captain now and I can be that guy and inspire the younger guys on the team, it’s such an honour.”

Inspiring others seems to be a common theme with Cameron and this weekend will be no different. He will look to inspire his teammates with his leadership in the dressing room and his play on the ice. But, as someone with a four-year BCHL career, a scholarship to a top-end business school in Bentley University and his track record working with Indigenous youth, he will no doubt inspire his community as well.

Originally posted on BCHL.ca on February 14, 2023

 

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