The season officially begins next Tuesday for members of the Nanaimo Track and Field Club. (NEWS BULLETIN file)

The season officially begins next Tuesday for members of the Nanaimo Track and Field Club. (NEWS BULLETIN file)

Track and field club awaits starter’s pistol

The season officially begins next Tuesday for members of the Nanaimo Track and Field Club.

It seems to have been a long time coming, but spring is now here and hopefully some warmer weather will come with it. Regardless, spring and summer sports are getting underway. That includes athletes involved in track, as the season officially begins next Tuesday for members of the Nanaimo Track and Field Club.

NTFC is one of Nanaimo’s most well-established sports organizations, having been founded back in the 1960s. It is a non-profit club that trains athletes from age six onwards in track and field as well as cross country. The club philosophy is based on the concept that track and field should be fun and that all athletes should receive equal opportunity for training and competition.

For the coming season, registrations have been accepted for some time now, practices are scheduled and directors of the local club are looking forward to another busy and successful year ahead. Returning as president this season is Tyler Heisterman, along with vice-president Bernie Katzberg. Al Johnston is past president, Shaula Croome is club secretary and Don Putz the treasurer. Also on the board of directors are Sherri Clare and Cristi Lundman as parent liasons, Brenda Redman as meet administrator and PhillipVannini in charge of public relations. Tracy Mousseau and Mark Higgins look after fundraising and registration duties are shared by Kim Bjarnasson and Ila Patel.

Club activities begin with the Track Rascals program for youngsters ages 6-8 (born 2009-11). This is a non-competitive introduction to the basic skills of track and field based on Athletic Canada’s Run, Jump and Throw program. Two separate five-week programs are offered, with practices on Tuesday and Thursday nights beginning April 11. Cost for the program is $90.

For older age groups, the track season runs through until August and involves a number of competitive meets. Practices get underway on April 4 at the Rotary Bowl facility behind Nanaimo District Secondary and will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7:30 p.m. and as as Saturday mornings from 10:30 a.m. until noon.

Junior Development athletes are those aged 9-13 (born 2004-08). Cost for the season is $295, but registration for this age group is actually already at capacity. Those still looking to sign up are being placed on a waiting list.

Registration fees range from $225-285 for midgets, youths, juniors and seniors. Masters aged 35 and over have a registration fee of $195.

Club athletes benefit from an impressive list of qualified local coaches, including Heisterman, Johnston, Katzberg, Erin Burrett, Mandy Heisterman, Mike Paugh, Mike Viers, Sue De Schiffart, Wanda Urbanowicz, Greg Bush, Dave Morris, Paul Little, Brenda Redman, Sven Donaldson and Carolee Katzberg.

Registration details and other information on the Nanaimo Track and Field Club is available online at www.nanaimotrackandfield.com.

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

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