A young Mi'kmaws baseball dream

A young Mi’kmaws baseball dream

The COVID-19 pandemic almost ruined his dream. The sanitary measures imposed by New Brunswick public health has complicated sports education for more than a year.

I was even going to quit hockey and really play baseball, launches Payton Sanipass. But after COVID, my motivation was down. All national competitions in addition to tournaments have been canceled.

These events are often an opportunity for young people to get to know each other.

Young man with team hat and baseball glove.  He waits before throwing a ball.

Payton Sanipass strikes a position before a throw. The mental aspect of the game fascinates him.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Guy Leblanc

The business is picking up speed and Payton hopes it will work in his favor. Because on a baseball diamond, the young man feels happy and likes the challenge of the sport.

On the mound, for example, he is facing a mess he wants to take out. Trust is as important as athletics.

If you think you can not strip out (pull it out on three takes), if you do not have self-confidence, it will not happen. Being a pot is a game of anger, a game of anger. If you have confidence that you can take that batter out, take him out in three strikes.

Proud of the origin

He grew up in Saint-Antoine, east of New Brunswick, and now lives in Dieppe, but Payton is also a proud Mi’kmaw athlete.

Furthermore, the National Indigenous History Month, which ends June 30, inspires her.

It’s just, really be proud to be who I am, proud to be Mi’kmaw, and not be afraid to show it, he mentions. He wants to write his own story this way, no matter what happens.

I like to represent the indigenous people, Mi’kmaq, by playing baseball. There are no major Mi’kmaw players playing baseball here, he adds.

Sportsman, from father to son

Her father is Everett Sanipass from Elsipogtog Mi’kmaw First Nation. The former National Hockey League player played in 164 games with the Quebec Nordiques and Chicago Blackhawks (of which he was the first pick in 1986).

Black and white photo of Everett Sanipas, with Chicago Blackhawks vest, showing number 1 on the vest.

Everett Sanipass played professional hockey from 1987 to 1993 with Chicago, Quebec, Indianapolis, Saginaw and Halifax.

Photo: NB Hall of Fame

Everett owns a restaurant in the community Elsipogtog. The father gave some advice to his son if he wanted to advance his athletic career.

Work out first in the gym, then socialize with people who are not going to bring you down and who have the same goals as you. Because if they have the goals, you will match the bestadds Payton Sanipass.

Baseball player with baseball bat on shoulder.

Payton Sanipass, during a batting exercise.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Ian Bonnell

However, it is not always easy to be proud of the heritage and the roots. Racism is present in sports, although we like to say that sports bring people together.

Payton has heard racist epithets and lived through times of division. He chose to stand, but it still makes him think.

I do not like to hear it because I know that there are members of my family who will be offended. It hurts me, it hurts me.

Sometimes racism is in the second degree, in the unspoken or when the back is turned, he says.

It was racism, much more in hockey than in baseball, reports Payton Sanipass. In baseball, there was more respect. But still, there were places with some coaches where you could tell that something was going on.

Two young Aboriginal women in front of the arena, with their finger pointing towards number one.

Jamie Carpenter and Kylie Francis are two members of the Elsipogtog Hockeyville Committee. Payton Sanipass is proud of its work.

Photo: Other image banks / Guy Leblanc

The teenager knows that not everything is dark. The silver lining is the victory of Elsipogtog First Nation in Hockeyville National Competition. The renovation project the social arena received the most votes in the country.

It made me proud! It makes the world a better place. We come together more, not just because of race, we all love each other, we are all human. It feels good to see it.

A quote from:Payton Sanipass

He also knows that he is well surrounded by his teammates. In the Mudcats team, we love his smile, his zest for life. He is the coach’s joy because of the discipline.

Payton Sanipass hopes the effect of the pandemic will subside and return to normal. And let’s all agree. I’m happy.

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