Students from Sandowne finally got their shot to return to district-wide competition this year at Tuesday’s track meet held at École Phoenix.

District track meet returns

The Phoenix track was a hub of activity on Tuesday as students in grades five, six, and seven competed at the invitational district track and field meet.

District meets, an annual highlight for Campbell River elementary school students for many years, have only recently been resurrected.

The elementary meets ceased to be held after the schools were reconfigured in 2012. Fortunately, in recent years, dedicated volunteers have begun to revive the tradition.

In its first year, the meet – a collaborative effort between École Phoenix, Southgate, and the Campbell River Christian School – was held solely for grade six students. It was expanded in its second year to include grade seven students, and this year Phoenix and Southgate welcomed grade fives, bringing elementary schools back into the fold.

Grade 5 students from Quadra, Oyster River, Pinecrest, Penfield, Discovery Passage, École Willow Point, Sandowne, and Oyster River competed, swelling both the field of athletes and the cheering section.

Running, throwing, and jumping from 9:15 am to 2:00 pm, students had not only the chance to demonstrate and build upon their skills, but also to take part in what was once a Campbell River tradition.

Many Campbell Riverites have fond memories of meets such as the one held one Tuesday. For some students, the district meet was the highlight of the year; for others, it was the introduction to what would become their favourite sport. There was an outpouring of positive feedback from parents happy to see the event running again, one of whom said, her parents watched me compete as a child, and now she’d brought her Mom to watch her kids compete.

Participants had the opportunity to compete in a variety of running events, including the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, and 1200m. Carihi Sports Leadership students marshalled and timed competitors and ran the field events: discus, shot put, high jump, and long jump.

Their participation is part of what has allowed the event to expand, and is also a great opportunity for the students to gain skills as well as mentor young athletes.

Coaches from the Campbell River Comets Track and Field Club also lent their valuable expertise to the event, despite being busy with the track season, which is currently underway.

The Comets have track practices two times a week and travel across the island for meets throughout the spring and summer. They are always happy to receive new members, and registration usually takes place in February. For those looking forward to more district meets, organizers say they hope to continue to host them into the future – continuing this now-revitalized tradition for the community.