Starter’s pistol signals new track and field season

NANAIMO – The 2013 track and field season gets underway this coming week and the local club is all organized for another successful year.

Last year is going to be a tough act to follow. But the Nanaimo Track and Field Club is gearing up to give it a good shot.

The 2013 track and field season gets underway this coming week and the local club is all organized for another successful year. New members will be joining a well-established club with strong athletes at every level, from junior development to masters. On top of that, the club is committed to helping all athletes achieve their potential at whatever level they wish and they have an outstanding group of coaches ready to help make that happen.

Last year, NTFC had an amazing season, winning aggregate trophies for top male and female athletes as well as the top club on the Island, with a number of athletes having success in competitions at the provincial and national level. The hope is that this year will be just as full of excellent training, good club spirit and great competitions.

Returning as president and head coach of the club is Tyler Heisterman. Vice-president is Bernie Katzberg, with Al Johnston the past-president. Treasurer is Danni Watson, secretary is Sue DeSchiffart and registrar is Jackie Pallard.

Other directors include Tracy Higgins as meet manager and Sherri Clare as parent liaison. Jodi Maxwell and Tracey Mousseau will look after fund raising. Club statistician is James Mitchell and public relations director is Terri Doughty.

The local club is proud to offer qualified coaching in every discipline of track and field, including javelin, long jump, pole vault, sprints, hurdles, middle distance and many more. Along with Tyler Heisterman as head coach, other coaches confirmed for the upcoming season include Al Johnston, Mike Viers, Dave Morris, Sue DeSchiffart, Bernie Katzberg, Coralie Katzberg, Mandie Heisterman, Sven Donaldson, Paul Little, Erin Burrett, Peter Metrowich and Greg Bush.

The youngest age level of membership in the club is the track rascals, a non-competitive fun program for young athletes aged six to eight (born 2005-07). Cost for this age group is $65. Junior development, aged nine-14 (born 1999-2004) costs $250. Midget, aged 15 (born 1998) has a membership fee of $257. The cost is $280 for youth aged 16-17 (born 1996-97), junior aged 18-19 (born 1994-95) and senior aged 20-34 (born 1979-93). For athletes aged 20-22 (born 1991-93) the registration cost is $257. For masters 35-plus (born 1978 or earlier), the cost is $190.

Registration for the upcoming season begins this coming Tuesday (April 9), at Rotary Bowl stadium located on Wakesiah Avenue behind Nanaimo District Secondary. Training has been scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7:30 p.m. rain or shine and on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m.-noon.

Registration forms are available online at the Nanaimo Track and Field Club website and completed forms can be brought to any Tuesday or Thursday practice session. An important meeting for the parents of all new and returning members will be held at the track clubhouse on April 16 at 6 p.m.

The track season runs through until mid-July and the local club has a full schedule of events put together for their members. That schedule includes five Island meets, a road trip to Langley in June for all athletes and the B.C. Junior Development Championships which will be hosted by the Nanaimo club on July 12-14. With those and other competitions on the calendar, it promises to be a fun and exciting season ahead for Nanaimo Track and Field Club members. If you’re interested in being a part of it, head over to the track and check things out.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair and show good sportsmanship.

Ian Thorpe writes about sports Saturdays.