Soccer:
We’re excited to welcome back our NB3FIT soccer program in spring of 2024! The last time we hosted a soccer program was in spring of 2020 – right as the pandemic hit. It’s been a long wait, but we are happy to bring the sport and program back to local youth. The youth soccer league will  provide an organized soccer league where youth will learn fundamentals of soccer and implement the skills in a competitive soccer game at the end of each week. March will mark the start of the 8-week season with a tournament to follow. Registration will open shortly after the new year. The league will be open to youth ages 6-14. 

Track:
After a successful cross country season NB3FIT is looking forward to spring track and field starting in March! Leading up to the season, conditioning camps will be hosted to prepare youth for the 12-week season.  Registration will open shortly after the new year.

Golf:
Golf will be back in full swing this spring! Spring program will start on March 11 and will run for 6 weeks at the Santa Ana Golf Club. Equipment is available for youth in program. Registration will also be open in January!

Questions about spring program can be sent to Director of NB3FIT, Clint Begay at clint@nb3f.org

The 2023 cross country season officially came to an end at nationals on December 9 in Louisville, Kentucky. The national race was the bow on top of what was already a record-breaking year for the NB3FIT cross country team. The running club grew to 86 runners, making it the largest youth cross country club in the state! An amazing feat that would’ve been hard to imagine just a few years ago.

This year, more practice locations were opened to help make the program accessible to more youth and families. Another addition made to help make the program affordable is sliding scale scholarships. Half of the youth in the cross-country program qualified for a scholarship from the foundation to help cover registration costs.

The youth also had outstanding finishes throughout the season. A total of 27 runners qualified for nationals. The girls 8 and under team finished first place in all their races including the regional race. They continued to nationals where they finished 5th place overall.

The team also had 6 runners tally up multiple top 5 finishes throughout the season:
Individual Top 5 Achievements

    • Charles Duffel (17 y/o)
      • 1st place- AAT Cross Country Meet #25
      • 1st place- Running Medicine Cross Country Meet
      • 2nd Place- Team Haa’nu Meet
      • 3rd place- NB3 Foundation Traditions Run
      • 2nd place- Duke- Rise to Greatness Invitational
      • 2nd place- USATF NM JO Championship
    • Marcus Tenorio (14 y/o)
      • 3rd place USATF NM JO Championships
      • 2nd place NB3 Foundation Traditions run
    • Quinton Begay (13 y/o)
      • 3rd place NB3 Foundation Traditions Run
      • 3rd place Dukes- Rise to Greatness XC Invitational
    • Jacqueline Durand (12 y/o)
      • 5th place USATF NM JO Championship
    • Taymani Loretto (8 y/o)
      • 4th place Running Medicine Cross Country Meet
      • 2nd Place NB3 Foundation Traditions Run
      • 4th place Dukes- Rise to Greatness XC Invitational
      • 3rd place USATF NM JO Championship
    • Weston Grant (8 y/o)
      • 4th place Running Medicine Cross Country Meet
      • 4th place NB3 Foundation Traditions Run
      • 5th place USATF NM JO Championship

Emmarina Wright, was the only runner to have perfect attendance for the whole 10-week regular season! Congrats to Emmarina and her family for the dedication to the team this season.

Each age group saw significant improvements in running times through the season:
Average improvements (previously trained and untrained runners):

  • 2k runners: 2 minutes and 31 seconds
  • 3k runners: 4 minutes and 47 seconds
  • 4k runners: 3 minutes and 54 seconds
  • 5k runners: 10 minutes and 24 seconds

At the end of the season, it’s always great to celebrate the achievements on the course and to hear about the personal successes of each runner. We look to the youth and parents/caregivers to help us learn about what the season meant to them.


From youth:

“Our team is from different tribes, but we are a family. We are special because even if we stress out the coaches, they still love us.”

“My favorite memory was getting to go new places and learning how to be a role model for the little kids.”

“At the San Felipe race I watched Marcus win 2nd place. It made me happy because our team was winning, but also because I can run with him so I can run like him.”

From Parents:

“My son’s main focus for joining XC for the first time was to get healthy and fit. He has noticed changes in his physical abilities and has given him confidence that he can do more.”

“In the beginning my daughter was nervous, intimidated, and said it was hard. Throughout the weeks she grew more confident and was so proud of the strides she has made and was excited to be part of a team!”

“I am very glad I had my son join the XC program. He is motivated and is now in the basketball program. Even though he sees that he’s different from children his age group, he knows that it doesn’t define who he is or limit his capabilities!”

Looking ahead
After a strong cross country season, the foundation is looking forward to a having a strong showing in spring for the track and field season. The new season will start in March with registration opening up following the new year.  

86 Runners

  • 48 females
  • 38 males
  • 100% identify as Native American
  • 45 ages 8 and under (6-8)
  • 30 ages 9-12
  • 11 ages 13+

Communities represented:

Hopi
Acoma
Laguna
Isleta
Sandia
Tamaya
Zia
Jemez
San Felipe
Kewa
Cochiti
San Ildefonso
Santa Clara
Diné
San Carlos Apache
Kickapoo
Lakota Sioux
Tohono O’Odham

Thank you for the support of NB3FIT cross country! 

This winter the NB3 Foundation partnered up with Tamaya Wellness Center (Pueblo of Santa Ana) to bring a basketball league to local youth. Basketball is popular in the communities with many youth leagues scattered around the area, however, many are not affordable or accessible to families. Participating in an Albuquerque league requires families to travel over 20 miles just for the child to participate. The Tamaya Wellness Center is located just north of Albuquerque – making it more accessible to many local tribal communities and families.

There are currently over 190 youth participants ranging from 5-17 years old in the inaugural league. Through the partnership, league games are played every Saturday at the Tamaya Wellness Center gymnasium located in the Pueblo of Santa Ana. Teams are coached by parents and local community members who all received coach’s training. Coaches also have access to equipment and the gym to host a practice at least once a week.

When the cross country season comes to an end, it usually means the foundation’s youth programs are on break until the spring. However, with the addition of the basketball league, we are happy to say we provide year-round youth programs for Native youth.

We’re grateful for the continued support of the Pueblo of Santa Ana and it’s Tamaya Wellness Center. Without the partnership and the use of their facilities, this league would not have been possible.

Today, the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation is thrilled to welcome Tunté Vigil (Tesuque Pueblo/Rosebud Lakota) as its new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Vigil brings a variety of experience from education, management, business development and tribal gaming. Her passion for Native youth and communities shines through in all her work and volunteerism and will help strengthen and advance the mission of the NB3 Foundation.

“The board of directors has taken its time and been very intentional to fill this position with a qualified and equally passionate leader to take the organization even further as a national leader in Native youth health. Tunté’s proven results in strengthening tribal communities, building relationships and strategic thinking make her an excellent fit for the organization,” said Notah Begay III, founder.

As President and CEO, Vigil will take the lead and be responsible for planning, implementation and management of the organization, ensuring commitment to the core values and serving as a leading advocate for Native youth health. Tunté joins the organization at a critical time as Native communities work to reclaim their systems of health.

“I am pleased and excited with the board’s decision to bring on an experienced, Native-woman professional to lead our team. Tunté brings a depth of knowledge, passion and lived experience that will strengthen our team and ability to move the needle for Native youth and communities,” said Jon Driskell, COO and former acting president and CEO.

“I am humbled and honored for the unique opportunity to serve and strengthen the Native Youth programming at NB3 Foundation. I am excited to enhance the four core areas through traditional values and teachings; our children are sacred and our future leaders who will carry our culture, language and ways of life,” Vigil said. “I look forward to engaging with the talented staff, partners and collaborators, and especially with the youth! Thank you to the NB3 Foundation Board of Directors for having the confidence in me to contribute my leadership to such an amazing and impactful organization”.

Vigil is committed to serving Native people, especially the youth of all communities. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family, participating in her both her Pueblo and Lakota cultures and living a healthy lifestyle.

NB3FIT Track kicked off the season at Volcano Vista High School on April 29 marking the first competitive meet for the majority of the team.

The NB3FIT program added track to its rotation in 2022 to provide youth another way to stay active until cross country returns in the fall. The sport also appeals to a different group of youth who may may like the short distances more than the longer cross country runs.

In an effort to reach more youth, NB3FIT established four different practice sites for families to choose from. Families have the option to attend the site nearest them with one being in Albuquerque, one in Bernalillo and two in pueblo communities.  The same curriculum is taught at all the practice sites and youth come together once a week to practice together.

With two meets in the book, the team is already showing bright futures ahead. NB3FIT has one of the largest teams in the area with youth competing in almost every category. There is a learning curve to track, and youth are becoming more comfortable with the rules and fundamentals as well as learning the importance of pacing themselves for different events.

Next on the schedule for NB3FIT Track is the Albuquerque Athletic Track Meet May, 20 at Eldorado High School. This year’s state race will take place on Saturday, June 10 at Cleveland high school followed by a regional race on July 8 and nationals in Eugene, Oregon on July 29!

Keep up to date on the team by following the NB3 Foundation on social media!

NB3FIT Soccer came to an abrupt end in March 2020. Since then, NB3FIT has been working to figure out the best way to reintroduce the program to communities. 

“Our soccer program relied heavily on us being in communities with youth. With shutdowns and the extended shutdowns of local communities it has made it hard for us to bring it back before now,” Clint Begay, director of NB3FIT said.  

Autumn Quiver, NB3FIT program coordinator and lead soccer coach, has been connected with the foundation since her adolescence when she was first a youth participant of the program. Now, as a longtime NB3FIT coach,  she is leading the revival of the soccer program through professional development and partnering with local schools.

“We’ve been trying to bring back soccer in the communities and decided to start by visiting the schools,” Quiver said. “In the past our participation numbers were always higher when we went to schools and brought soccer to students.”

Through a partnership with the US Soccer Foundation, Quiver visited three local schools, for two weeks, to lead soccer activities and to test curriculum feasibility in school settings. The partnership was a great way to get NB3FIT in front students, who are program age, and to help secure funding that could be used to strengthen the soccer program. 

In addition to her work in schools, Quiver has been working on her skill set in the classroom. In April, Quiver completed a two-month training and received a U.S. National D Coaching License from the US Soccer Federation.

“With getting this license I am being mindful and growing as a coach, she said. “I’ve loved and played soccer and want to provide that experience to the youth in our communities.”

The D Coaching License prepares coaches to lead teams from U6-U13 in a participation environment. The training process also teaches coaches to not only plan out sessions and run practices, but the importance of putting the player first.

[The training] is a player-centered curriculum and focuses on being mindful of the emotional well-being of the player. How they learn, how long they can learn and understanding that though youth seem like they should learn at similar rates 7-year-olds learn a lot differently than 9-year-olds,” Quiver pointed out. 

The license, credentials and training back up everything NB3FIT is teaching, and has boosted Quiver’s confidence as the foundation gets closer to relaunching the soccer program. Looking ahead, she has her eyes set on refreshing the foundation’s decade-old soccer curriculum and making sure it is up to date with her training.

“We are excited to get back out there and plan to offer some local camps to help reintroduce ourselves into communities,” she said. “We are eager to lend our support to communities as they share the game to their youth.”

Since 2020, NB3FIT has offered more sports and activities including track and field, tennis camps, a youth golf team, and most recently a girls basketball team.  NB3FIT hopes that through visits with schools and hosting camps soccer will slowly get back in the rotation of sports they provide to Native youth.

Follow the NB3 Foundation on social media to get all updates on NB3FIT programs.

The Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation is excited to introduce the 2023 NB3FIT Youth Golf Team, which includes 11 golfers ages 13 to 17 from across the state of New Mexico. The NB3FIT Golf Team was established in 2021 to provide skills training, tournament opportunities, and mentorship to aspiring Native youth golfers.

Youth are selected based on skill, commitment to the game, involvement in their community and their willingness to learn. Being selected to the team comes with a variety of learning opportunities and skills training meant to enhance their game. However, the focus is not only on golf. Youth are also challenged to think strategically about how they will give back to their community through volunteering and other community service efforts. 

“I wanted to be on the NB3FIT Golf Team because I love the game and this team provides many opportunities to grow and get better,” Maddison Long,16, said. “It also teaches important lessons like time management, giving back to the community, and places other responsibilities on us that can help us prepare for later in life.”

Long has been part of the NB3FIT junior golf family since she was a child and has been selected to the team for the past three years. You will often find Long on the course or at NB3 Foundation events volunteering and mentoring young golfers. 
 
Long, her little sister Olivia,13, and Alyssandra Rodriquez,15, make up the girls team this year. Rodriquez returns from last year’s team, and Olivia joins for the first time.  For the boys, the team welcomes newcomers: Deviond Gachupin, 13, JJ Botello, 14, and Jacob Francisco, 17. Francisco plays high school golf for Miyamura High School in Gallup, N.M. and Gachupin and Botello are both active in the golf scene as middle school students.  

The team returns a strong boy’s roster including Skyler Woods ,17, Zachary BlueEyes ,16, Noah Pozernick ,17, Luke James ,17, and Ardell John ,17. Woods and BlueEyes both placed first in their age divisions at last year’s NB3 Foundation Native Youth Golf Championship. Woods, BlueEyes and John also helped Kirtland Central High School finish second in the 2022 high school state championship.  

Pozernick, James and Francisco all play for Miyamura High School and are looking to get the Patriots a podium finish at the 2023 NM Golf State Championship, May 8-9 at Santa Ana Golf Club.  

Following the state championship, a busy summer season will begin. Each NB3FIT golfer will play at least 10 more tournaments, a combination of NB3 Junior Golf Tour and Sun Country Jr. Golf tournaments. Golfers will also go head-to-head against Native youth from across the country in the 2023 Native Youth Golf Championship in late July. 

“It’s only been three years and we have already seen incredible stories come from this team. Two past team members are playing collegiate golf, and another is attending The Golf Performance Academy in Connecticut,” Clint Begay, director of NB3FIT said. “I’m excited for this year’s team and look forward to seeing them accomplish new goals on and off the course.” 

The team will continue to meet up twice a month to practice, work on youth development skills and check in on community service projects. 

2023 NB3FIT Youth Golf Team  

Zachary BlueEyes, 16, Kirtland, NM, Diné, Kirtland Central High School  

Ardell John, 17, Kirtland, NM, Diné, Kirtland Central High School  

Skyler Woods, 17, Kirtland, NM, Diné, Kirtland Central High School  

Jacob Francisco, 17, Gallup, N.M., Diné, Miyamura High School  

Luke James, 17, Gallup, NM, Diné, Miyamura High School  

Noah Pozernick, 17, Gallup, NM, Diné, Miyamura High School  

JJ Botello, 14, Albuquerque, N.M., Hispanic 

Deviond Gachupin, 13, Albuquerque, N.M, Pueblo of Jemez 

Alyssa Rodriguez, 15, Albuquerque, NM, Hispanic, West Mesa High School 

Maddison Long, 15, Albuquerque, NM, Coeur d’Alene/Diné, Volcano Vista High School 

Olivia Long, 13, Albuquerque, NM, Coeur d’Alene/Diné 

  

  

You may have seen it on the freeway or driving through your neighborhood but probably weren’t sure what it was or where it was going. Adorned with “Water First!” message, the Notah Begay III Foundation water trailer is eye catching and gets passersby thinking about water.

The Water First! Drink Up.water trailer is what we use to transport, and serve, healthy infused waters to youth and families. Like food trucks and lemonade stands you’ll most likely catch us community gatherings and local events. However, we aren’t there to serve up sugary drinks and treats, we are there to share healthy infused waters and spread the important message of drinking MORE water, and less sugar sweetened beverages.

Since 2018 the trailer has been one tool we have used to educate and encourage healthy hydration in Native communities and beyond. Water is and will always be the best drink choice for our bodies. However, we often hear water is boring, has no flavor, or doesn’t provide the boost of energy ssb’s do. We are trying to change that perspective by educating youth and sharing information to help encourage healthy water consumption.

To kick off 2023, the first stop for the trailer was at the Santa Fe Indian School on Friday, February 24 for the health and wellness event! Hundreds of middle and high school aged students visited the trailer to sample different flavors of infused waters. The students were surprised at flavorful you can make the water by just infusing it with a few different fruits and vegetables. The flavors we shared on that day were Strawberry Cucumber and Apple Cinnamon infused waters. Apple Cinnamon always gets mixed reviews, so if you’re looking for solid favorite, we’d suggest trying Strawberry Cucumber.

The great thing about the water trailer is it grabs everyone’s attention and is suitable for all audiences. Which is why we are hoping to get it out in more communities in 2023. If you would like to request the water trailer at your next community event you can submit a request form for review. Due to capacity, we are only able to travel within our local area. However, our friends and relatives who live further away can catch the trailer at the Gathering of Nations in April!

In February, NB3 Foundation’s NB3FIT team joined Nike and fellow partners to host camps for Native youth Salt River High School in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Thirteen NB3FIT youth XC runners officially ended the cross-country season on December 10 at the USATF Junior Olympic Cross-Country Nationals meet in College Station, Texas. The NB3FIT runners went toe-to-toe with the best youth runners from across the country.

One girls’ and one boys eight and under team made the long trip to compete and experience what competing on a national level was like. For many on the team, it looked like a 12-hour drive with families in tow. And for the team, it was less about bringing home gold, and more about celebrating getting to nationals, trying their best and getting better.

NB3FIT coaches hosted families and runners the night before the race for a healthy pre-race dinner and team building activities to help calm nerves. The season is long, and over that time runners and parents become a community of support for one another. These small gatherings and dinners are great way to keep everyone connected and focused on a common goal.

The weather in Texas was nice and mild and the course was in top condition. NB3FIT runners took the starting line representing their families, tribes and running communities back home. Though none of the runners came home with top 10 finishes, most did come home with their own personal records! A fitting end to a record-breaking season.