For Nunuvut badminton player Davidee Kudluarok playing the racquet sport is a family affair.
With his loving and supportive parents always by his side the 13-year-old will have yet another familiar face travelling with him to the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG)—His cousin and doubles partner Mike Kavik.
“The highlight of my involvement in sport has been winning the under-19 Nunuvut Badminton Territorials doubles competition,” said Kudluarok. “But my biggest highlight is getting picked to go to NAIG with my cousin Mike.”
Kudluarok has been playing badminton for only two-years and in that time frame has won three Nunuvut Badminton Territorials medals. In addition to that he and his teammates have also earned Territorial Team of the Year honours from Recreation and Parks Nunuvut.
Living in the far north, Kudluarok says some of the biggest challenges he has faced in the sport have been related to lack of accessibility.
“We have to order everything from out of town, shoes, racquets and shuttles,” said the eighth-grader. “We play the same people all the time, and only get to play different people about once a year.”
Also a hockey player, some of Kudluarok’s other pastimes include hunting fishing and playing games with his friends at his local community centre.
Passionate about his sport, Kukluarok dreams of one day competing at Nationals and is thrilled to be representing his hometown, Sanikiluaq, at the Toronto 2017 NAIG. Most accustomed to speaking in his mother tongue Inuktitut, when asked in English what he most looked forward to at the Games this summer, the driven teenager responded with succinct confidence—“Playing.”