Neil Linklater

Neil Linklater

Multi-sport athlete Neil Linklater is known for leaving it all out on the floor

Of Mi’kmaq and Cree descendant, the busy 16-year-old from the Esgenoôpetitj First Nation plays basketball, soccer, volleyball, track and field, hockey and softball. He has a passion for competing and strives for excellence in everything he does.

“Competition motivates me to improve my skills in sports,” said Linklater. “I also like to inspire younger youth to live a healthy lifestyle.”

A real team player, Linklater competes for the Miramichi Valley High School AAA boys hockey team and also the North Shore Hockey League, and says his most impactful sporting moment, happened on the ice.

“The highlight of my involvement in sport was scoring my first goal in hockey,” said Linklater. “I loved the feeling so much it made me want to do it more, and help my teammates to score as well.”

Always striving to make others better on the playing field, Linklater also lends his time to mentoring athletes in different sports and working as a referee for the Esgenoôpetitj afterschool sports program.

“Sport is important because it teaches you to be better person,” said Linklater. “That is something you can carry with you for the rest of your life.”

Linklater has won medals in different divisions during the New Brunswick Indian Summer Games between the years of 2011-2016 in basketball, track and soccer. He also competed in traditional archery at the 2014 North American Indigenous Games in Manitoba and earned top athlete honours for the Burnt Church Sports Association in 2015 and 2016.

Linklater is currently training in basketball with Team New Brunswick for the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games.  He looks forward to meeting the other competitors, as he believes it is important for Indigenous athletes to share their sport experiences with one another to make each other better.

“It’s good to see how as athletes we are all the same in a way and also very different,” said Linklater. “It’s good for us to see how other people train and to see their different athletic lifestyles.”