Track and field athletes from across the Kootenays are stretching out and limbering up for the annual Royal Canadian Legion track and field Meet Saturday at Haley Park but organizers are concerned about competitor turn out.
Last year’s event attracted over 70 athletes and while Trail Track and Field Club coach Dan Horan is pleased with the number of athletes coming from outside the area, he is hoping for more local involvement.
“I don’t have a lot of local participants,” said Horan, however he already has dozens of tracksters signed up or interested from Creston, Cranbrook, Invermere, Sparwood and possibly Fernie
The Trail club once boasted over 50 members but recent membership is down to a half-dozen athletes.
Unfortunately local schools and teachers don’t show much interest or support but it doesn’t necessarily mean passion for the sport is waning, says Horan.
“It goes in cycles; we didn’t have hardly any kids this year but then there was a boy from St. Michael’s school and he decided he wanted to do it and all of a sudden kids that he knew at school said ‘Oh yeah, I like that too.’”
The B.C. Athletics sanctioned meet is open to any athlete aged nine and up, divided into age categories of midget, juvenile, junior, and senior competitors.
Depending on age category, the event includes track standards from the 60 and 100-metre sprints and hurdles to the 3,000-metre run as well as the popular field competitions: the long jump, high jump, shot put, discus, javelin, and hammer throw.
This year all races are timed finals with the last event scheduled for 4:30 p.m. so teams from the East Kootenay can make it home that night.
Meet organizers prefer athletes register by April 28, but last-minute track enthusiasts can register the day of the competition.
An entry fee of $10 per athlete is required if a member of B.C. Athletics, an additional $3 per entry if not a member. Go to www.trailtrackclub.ca for more information.