Whitehorse Special Olympics athlete Darby McIntyre tests out the new rubberized track at F.H. Collins Secondary School on Sept. 1. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)

Regulation track and field complex opens at F.H. Collins

The track will allow Yukon athletes to train for competition events

Track is back.

The brand new track-and-field complex at F.H. Collins Secondary School was unveiled Sept. 1.

Community Services Minister John Streicker said he believes it is the first Canadian outdoor rubberized track North of 60.

“Yukon can stand up to the best of them. You’re going to see some national soccer and track athletes from the Yukon in the coming years and this is a big help,” he said.

The track ring has been upgraded to international standards, accommodating eight lanes of rubberized running track measured at 400 metres.

Inside the track is a bright green, regulation artificial turf soccer field.

“It’s a spectacular facility. It just blows you away,” said Dave Stockdale, representing the Yukon Soccer Association.

The upgraded materials, as well as the standard size of the facilities, will allow Yukon athletes to prepare for competition conditions. Previously athletes have been forced to train on a gravel track, which isn’t compatible with shoe spikes.

The result, according to Athletics Yukon coach and board member Don White, is that track athletes in the Yukon aren’t able to practise for competition conditions — resulting in higher injury risk and a disadvantage compared to other runners.

Special Olympics Yukon athlete Darby McIntyre said he was excited to be able to use spikes on his shoes and practise events like the 5000-metre race or 20-kilometre run.

“It’s really awesome. I’ve only been on these tracks in southern Canada and in the U.S. It’s quite exciting because now I can do more speed work, I can get more experience with my spikes. The small metal spikes can help you go faster and keep you secure on the track,” McIntyre said.

Athletics Yukon has been asking for a track facility since the 1980s, said White.

“I’ve been on the board since 1987. And it’s always been a dream of hope that one day we’ll have a real track,” he said.

Funding was announced in 2018, and was originally slated for completion by fall 2019. Delays were due to a cold fall preventing the laying of the rubber, according to Streicker.

The facility will be able to host elementary and high school competitions at the territorial level. Athletics Yukon is planning on registering the track to World Athletics standards so that it can be used for national track-and-field meets in the future.

The new complex can accommodate steeplechase, long jump, high jump, triple jump, pole vaulting and shotput but doesn’t have a throw area for events like the hammer throw, discus and javelin. White said he hopes that space could be funded by a phase two project.

“The only issue is that we’ve got a track, but we don’t have all the field events coming. We can’t hold any kind of competition here at a national level if we don’t have a throw area,” said White.

Streicker said while additional facilities were considered initially in 2014, the construction circumstances of the build wouldn’t allow them.

“Athletics Yukon have been very strong advocates, and we will stay in conversation with them. We hope to round it out, but we don’t have a date today,” Streicker said.

The final cost of the facility was $8.2 million. The Government of Canada contributed around $6.1 million to the project and the Government of Yukon provided around $2 million.

Contact Haley Ritchie at haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com

soccerTrack and fieldYukon government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

The Yukon Department of Education building in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. Advocates are calling on the Department of Education to reverse their redefinition of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that led to 138 students losing the program this year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Advocates call redefinition of IEPs “hugely concerning,” call for reversal

At least 138 students were moved off the learning plans this year

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21, 2020. Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 to help recover from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Details released on relief funding for tourism and culture non-profits

Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive… Continue reading

Most Read