Time to think about getting on track

The track and field club’s focus is on preparing for the upcoming spring and summer season

BY IAN THORPE

As mentioned here last week, the Nanaimo Track and Field Club honoured top performers from last season at its winter annual general meeting. Now, the local club’s focus is on preparing for the upcoming spring and summer track season. Registration is underway, fundraising is happening and the season’s competitive schedule has been set.

Returning as president and head coach of NTFC for the coming season is Tyler Heisterman. Vice-president is Bernie Katzberg, secretary is Shaula Croome and club treasurer is Don Putz. Others on the executive board are Al Johnston, Kim Cameron, Cristi Lundman, Brenda Redman Robert Shurniak and Phillip Vannini.

Athletes as young as six years old can get introduced to track and field by way of the club’s popular Track Rascals program for those aged 6-8 (born 2010-2012). This is non-competitive training that builds basic skills based on the B.C. Athletics Run, Jump and Throw program. The local club runs two consecutive five-week sessions, the first from April 17 to May 17 and the second from May 22 to June 21. Cost is $90 for one session, or $160 for both.

Competitive training in the club begins with the junior development division, comprised of youths ages 9-13 (born 2005-09). Skill-based coaching is provided in events such as high jump, long jump, shot put, javelin, discus, distance and sprints, hurdles and relays. The basic registration fee is $200.

Older competitive track programs are divided into midget ages 14-15 (born 2003-04), youth ages 16-17 (born 2001-02), junior ages 18-19 (born 1999-2000) and senior ages 20-34 (born 1982-1998). There is also a post-secondary division for ages 18-22 (born 1996-2000) and a masters category for ages 35 and over. Cost to register for midget and masters divisions is $235, $245 for post-secondary and $265 for youth, junior and senior groups. For all competitive age groups, a post-dated $200 volunteer cheque is also required and is refunded if a family completes 15 hours of volunteer work for the club during the season.

The spring season officially begins on Tuesday, April 3, with practices commencing that same day at the Rotary Bowl facility. Practice times for most age groups will be Tuesday and Thursday evenings as well as Saturday mornings. For club volunteers, coaching clinics have been arranged for April 13-16 at Rotary Bowl.

For track and field athletes who wish to take part in competitions, there is a full calendar of meets and events from April through August. The first meet of the season is in Burnaby on April 7, followed by meets in Port Alberni and Victoria before the Elwood Wylie Memorial Meet hosted by the Nanaimo club on May 25-26. Highlights later in the summer include the B.C. Athletics Track and Field Championships in Coquitlam, as well as the B.C. Summer Games happening July 19-22 in Cowichan Valley and the B.C. Junior Development Championships in Kelowna. It will be a busy season.

Beginning on April 1, the club’s annual fundraiser will commence. Bags of premium organic top soil from Heisterman Farms will be sold, featuring online payment and home delivery. Details on this along with all club activities and registration information is available through www.nanaimotrackandfield.com.

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

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