Elementary schools compete at inaugural track meet

Students enrolled in F.H. Collins Secondary’s sports school and Porter Creek Secondary’s LEAD program got a chance to shine last week, not as athletes but as administrators.

Students enrolled in F.H. Collins Secondary’s sports school and Porter Creek Secondary’s LEAD program got a chance to shine last week, not as athletes but as administrators.

They were running the show at the Yukon Schools Athletic Association’s inaugural Elementary Track and Field Meet on Friday at F.H. Collins Secondary.

“It’s fantastic,” said YSAA president Marc Senecal. “Kudos again to the F.H. (Collins) staff as well as student participation from both the LEAD program from (Porter Creek Secondary) and the sports academy from F.H. – they’re running the show here and adults are just supervising. It’s the students that are running the events and that’s fantastic.”

About 60 athletes from five Whitehorse elementary schools took part in the meet that included 100-, 200-, 400-, 800-metre, broad jump, vertical jump and a softball throw.

It is thought to be the first track meet of its kind in Whitehorse.

“Other than having Grade 7s participate at the high school ones, there hasn’t been an elementary track meet to my knowledge,” said Senecal. “And I’ve been with YSAA for over 15 years.”

The implementation of sport school programs in the two high schools was the catalyst for the event, which took place two days after the annual high school track and field meet. F.H. Collins introduced its sports school program in September and Porter Creek followed suit with its LEAD – Leadership Education and Athletic Development – program in January. Both programs provide the opportunity for students to split their school time between academics and athletics studies.

In addition to running the event, students conducted demonstrations of shot put and relay racing.

“It was a great day. Lots of kids running, jumping, throwing – physical literacy right there,” said F.H. Collins teacher Christine Kirk. “It’s a great day and a great way for our sport schools to showcase themselves and showcase themselves as leaders.”

While every athlete came away with participation ribbons, Elijah Smith Elementary received a special honour with the Sportsmanship Award for “effort, team participation, cheering for their teammates, cheering for others,” said Kirk.

Ironically, while the F.H. Collins sports school takes off, the school has lost its running track – the only track in Whitehorse – that has been torn up by construction of the new school.

Athletics Yukon coach Don White and F.H. Collins staff put in dozens of man-hours measuring and painting a track on the lower grass field next to the old one.

“It’s very fun,” said Christ the King’s Adam Hennings, who won silver in the Grade 6 boys 100-metre. “You get to run against some other schools and compete.”

“I enjoyed it a lot,” added classmate Floyd Guanga. “It was my first time.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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