Two of Trail’s valuable assets

Two of Trail’s valuable assets

B.C. Seniors Games – Track events showcase the best in Trail

With the B.C. Seniors Games coming to the West Kootenay from Aug. 16 to 20., the Trail Times is featuring the sports, chairs and facilities that will be at the forefront in Trail when over 3,000 athletes arrive in the region.

When organizers for the 2011 B.C. Seniors Games needed someone to handle one of the largest events of the Games, there was only one name that came to mind – Dan Horan.

The longtime head coach of the Trail Track and Field Club has hosted numerous indoor and outdoor meets over the years and, with a potential field of over 200 athletes, he’s up for the challenge.

While slopitch and hockey can top the number of athletes involved in the track and field events, the logistics surrounding the other two sports pale in comparison.

Horan has already handled the 1996 B.C. Summer Games track and field event at Haley Park so he’s no stranger to provincial-calibre events.

“It might be a little bit harder in some ways,” he explained.

He said the different throwing-weight competitions and rules, which attract the largest number of athletes, would force organizers to keep the event on a tight schedule.

“I’ve redone the schedule and allocated an hour for each event.”

The track and field events actually begin one day before the opening ceremonies, which makes it one of the rare five-day sports at the Games.

Thanks to his past experience, Horan already has the core of his volunteer recruiting accomplished.

“This is a sanctioned B.C. Athletics meet. So there will be 10 very well qualified B.C. Athletics officials coming in. We have eight confirmed. Some of these people are qualified to officiate at world championship events.”

However, he admitted tracking down other volunteers to help will be difficult with school not in session and that group of help unavailable.

While Trail boasts the most experienced track organizer in the West Kootenay, it’s also is home to one of the best tracks in B.C.

“The closest track other than this is in Cranbrook. So this is where it has to be,” said Horan.

One of the main concerns with moving the Seniors Games from its usual September date to mid-August will be dealing with the West Kootenay heat.

Many events will be held indoors or in facilities with shade. However, Haley Park offers no such respite.

“I’ve been asking for tents. As many as I can get.”

Regardless, the track and field event will probably attract the highest-level of athletes at the Games.

Horan said no doubt there will be some athletes who have been national and international-calibre competitors and are still able to achieve impressive results.

“There will be some very good athletes. Last year they set a whole bunch of Canadian Masters records in Comox. That’s why they have to have sanctioned officials. They can set world records here.”

For more information on how to volunteer for the Games, visit  www .2011bcseniorsgames.org and click on “Volunteer.”