Track and field club in the starting blocks

The Nanaimo Track and Field Club is ready to spring ahead into another season.

Clocks have been moved forward, winter officially ends this weekend and members of the Nanaimo Track and Field Club are ready to spring ahead into another season. A final registration session will be held next week, fundraising is underway and the season’s schedule has been set.

Heading up the club again this season will be energetic president Tyler Heisterman, assisted by vice-president Bernie Katzberg. Also on the executive are past president Allen Johnston, treasurer Don Putz and secretary Shaula Croome. Other directors include Brenda Redman, Sherri Clare, Cristi Lundman, James Mitchell, Mark Higgins, Tracey Mousseau and Karen Poulson.

The spring track and field season will officially get underway on March 29 with the first practice of the year and registration has been happening during the past several weeks. Sign-up can be done online, but a final in-person registration will be held next Wednesday (March 23), beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Rotary Bowl clubhouse located behind Nanaimo District Secondary School.

Athletes as young as six years old can get involved in track and field, thanks to the club’s fun, non-competitive Track Rascals program for those aged 6-8. Competitive programs begin with the junior development division, comprised of youths aged 9-13. Then come other competitive divisions for midget (14-15), youth (16-17, juniors (18-19), seniors (20-34), athletes enrolled in post-secondary (18-22) and masters (aged 35 and over).

For the Track Rascals, two five-week sessions have been scheduled, beginning April 19 and May 24. Cost is $85 for five weeks, or $150 for all 10 weeks.

For the other divisions, fees have been set between $180 and $270 depending on the age level, in addition to a $35 jersey fee. A volunteer fee in the form of a post-dated cheque of $100 is also required, refundable after 15 hours of volunteer service to the club. A 20 per cent family discount applies to the third and additional children in the same family.

Practice times for club members will be Tuesdays and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings.

During the busy season ahead, club athletes will have the opportunity to take part in a number of track and field meets during May through August. Included in those will be the annual Elwood Wylie Meet hosted by the Nanaimo club on May 28-29. Nanaimo will also be hosting the B.C. High School Championships on June 2-4, as well as the B.C. Athletics Championships Jamboree on July 8-10.

In order to help offset costs, the club is fundraising by selling 18-kilogram (40-pound) bags of premium organic topsoil for $5 each. The ordering deadline is April 14, with the topsoil available for pick-up from Rotary Bowl on April 23. Free delivery is available within greater Nanaimo for orders of five bags or more.

To order topsoil, register an athlete, or get more information on Nanaimo Track and Field Club programs, visit www.nanaimotrackandfield.com.

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