Alternate elementary track meet this Thursday already seeing hundreds of registrants
Due to the rotating teachers strike in School District 20, the annual track and field meet will no longer be held by the school district. But that doesn’t mean it’s cancelled.
“When [the track and field meet] was cancelled last Monday, [The Trail Champion‘s Peter Sheets] messaged me and said there might be a possibility of getting another one organized and I said, ‘Okay, let’s roll with that,” said Amy Shields, a parent of two students at Webster Elementary.
More than 170 kids have so far been registered to participate and more are still signing up, she said.
The meet will be held at Haley Park on June 5 and will include Grades 4 to 7. All the students attending elementary schools in the district, as well as private schools, can participate.
“The private schools are included, that’s kind of a novelty in this area,” said Shields.
The private schools can participate because the event is not being run by the school district.
“It’s officially being hosted by the Trail Track and Field Club and it’s sanctioned by BC Athletics,” said Shields. “Part of the reason for getting it sanctioned by BC Athletics is because now it’s all under their insurance, so it’s fully covered,” said Shields.
“Dan Horan, the head coach of the Trail Track and Field Club, did all the organizing with BC Athletics to get it sanctioned.”
“[Horan] made available to us all the resources of the track club as well. So we have the official, proper equipment and we have the use of the computer ‘meet manager’ program,” said Shields.
“We have a list of about 40 or so parents who are actually volunteering at the meet,” said Shields.
Parents, in place of the teachers, will escort the kids to the meet.
“They’re going to be required to sign kids in and out of the meet as they come and go,” said Shields. “We’re going to have a table close to the entrance of the meet where people need to check in at the beginning of the day. All school teams will be aware of who their school parent is. They can only get signed out by those parents.”
“There are so many parents out there collecting forms and spreading word within the schools, it has really become a pretty big community effort.”
“It was really challenging to get everyone to know they needed to register their child and just to get the information out there in such a short period, because we’ve only had a week to turn this around,” said Shields.
Due to security reasons, the school district would not allow the names of the children meant to participate in the track and field meet to be released.
“So that meant parents collecting the names of everyone who was supposed to go, it was kind of a convoluted way of doing it,” said Shields.
“We had to change some of the event distances because the schools don’t follow the Athletics Canada standards,” said Shields. “This is a BC Athletics meet, so we have to follow Athletics Canada standards.”
At the track and field meet there will be first through sixth place ribbons.
“They will be the same sort of ribbons they would have got at the district meet,” said Shields. “We might be able to swing some other donated awards as well.”
“When we started to organize this, I called the BC Teachers’ Federation to make sure that we weren’t crossing any union boundaries, and they said it was perfectly fine for volunteers to run something like that,” said Shields.
“I think our teachers are really invaluable to us,” said Shields.
In Castlegar, Kinnaird Elementary parents ar encouraged to contact Brandy Grantham at email@example.com or via Facebook, and Robson Elementary contact is Shelley Stetsko via Facebook. Twin Rivers parents are encouraged to step up and provide a volunteer for students from their school (contact The Champion, The Source, Grantham, Stetsko or Shields to sign on).