Kootenay meet meets with hurdles

Legion track meet is also qualifier for B.C. Summer Games

Track meet organizers are searching high and low for athletes from around the Kootenays to compete at Haley Park in Warfield Saturday for the annual Royal Canadian Legion Outdoor Track and Field Meet.

The event will double as the West Kootenay Zone 1 trials for the BC Summer Games in Surrey July 19-22, so any track athlete in the Kootenays wanting to compete in the Summer Games must enter the Legion event.

“Athletes need to qualify (for the Summer Games,) so that’s for the 14- and 15-year-old kids, those born in 1997 or 98 compete in the Games,” said Zone 1 track coach Dan Horan.

Over 60 athletes competed in the full-day event last year, with a large East Kootenay contingent participating; however, this year’s numbers are more uncertain.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation union’s recent mandate restricts teachers from coaching extra-curricular activities leaving volunteers, parents, administrators and former-teachers to step in to organize and coach various activities, says Horan.

“I don’t have any high-school athletes, but quite often there are some very good athletes that come from Fernie,” said Horan.

Unfortunately, with teachers not involved, Horan doesn’t know how many are going to show.

“All the local Legion branches support and sponsor the event and that’s very good, we’d just like to have more kids,” he added. “If you don’t have a teacher in the system, it don’t happen, and unfortunately, that’s the way it is.”

In addition to the Trail Track Club, the event has been buoyed by commitments from a school administrator in Revelstoke that could shuttle over up to 35 athletes,  as well as notices from Jaffray, Nelson, Rossland and Castlegar athletes.

The B.C. Athletics sanctioned meet is open to any athlete aged nine and up, and divided into midget, juvenile, junior, and senior competitors.

Events range from 60 metre dash to a 1,500 metre Steeplechase, with field events that include high jump, long jump, triple jump, discus, hammer, javelin and pentathlon for Summer Games athletes.

Athletes can enter by phoning 368-5291, emailing dhoran@telus.net or show up at Haley Park Saturday before 9:15 a.m.

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.