Young athlete shows promise in competitive sports.REGINA
Kristie McNab-Machiskinic someday hopes to leave her home province so that she can further her athletic career after high school. The multi-talented athlete has her sights set on landing an athletic scholarship to play softball at an American university.
McNab-Machiskinic, who is Cree from Gordon's First Nation, has already made the choice to leave her home community to pursue athletics.
Though she enjoyed her experiences at nearby Punnichy Community High School where she was on the school's volleyball, badminton and track and field teams, she was looking for some tougher challenges.
As a result, for the current school year she moved about an hour's drive away to Regina to live with her aunt and cousins.
McNab-Machiskinic, 16, is now a star athlete at Winston Knoll Collegiate.
"I wanted to move because there are more opportunities in the city," she said.
And she felt she would improve more by playing sports at a higher calibre.
"It was alright but I wanted better sports," she said of her previous school.
At Winston Knoll, McNab-Machiskinic has been on four sports teams. Last Fall, she started off on the volleyball squad. Then she played badminton.
And this spring she's been excelling on the softball and track and field clubs.
A highlight for McNab-Machiskinic occurred in May as she won three gold medals at the Regina high school track and field championships.
She took top honours in shot put, discus and javelin events in the junior girls' category.
With these results, she qualified for the provincial championships that took place in Prince Albert in June.
McNab-Machiskinic also competed at the provincial high school finals last year in Regina. She won a silver medal in the midget girls' shot put.
McNab-Machiskinic went from a school that had 180 Native students to her current school, which has an enrolment of more than 1,000 students. She admits her move to Regina made her feel uneasy at times.
"It was really tough coming into a new environment," she said. "Seeing very few First Nations kids was intimidating because I didn't know how I'd fit in."
McNab-Machiskinic added she started to feel right at home as soon as the school's volleyball practices began, a couple of weeks into the year.
In Regina, she lives with her aunt and four cousins. Most weekends she returns to Gordon's First Nation to spend time with her mother and two younger siblings. She also spends some weekends on the Kawacatoose First Nation, where her father lives.
Besides school sports, McNab-Machiskinic is kept busy playing in the Regina Minor Girls Softball League.
Her grandmother Mary McNab, who lives on Gordon's First Nation, often drives her to her numerous games and practices.
"I'm in Regina every day," McNab said. "I should just move there."
She had some concerns when her grand-daughter left home to live and go to school in Regina.
"I kind of felt apprehensive for her," she said. "At first I was kind of afraid for her. She was coming from a school that had 100 per cent Native kids. And she was going to come into a school where there's a handful of First Nations kids."
Although McNab was at first worried about how other students would treat her granddaughter, she found Kristie adapted quickly as she focussed on excelling in athletics. "For her it doesn't matter--we're all the same," McNab said.
BY SAM LASKARIS