BC Athletics

Zones Seven and Eight Director's Report

Submitted by Bill Masich to the AGM

Membership/Participation

There has been a decrease in the numbers of registered BC Athletics members in Zones Seven
and Eight in the past year. The most dramatic change has occurred in the area of track and field. As this was a non-BC Games year, there was a decrease in the number of Midget age athletes (age 14-15 years). This is a trend that seems to be growing since the BC Games format was changed to a biannual event after the Maple Ridge Games in 1998.

There was a substantial increase in the number of registered members in Zone Seven due to the addition of a new road running club, Women In Motion, which has attracted fifty members. This is a positive sign for the growth of road running in the region. This is also significant provincially as it demonstrates the ability of BC Athletics to provide a service which is deemed important to the recreational runner.

Growth in membership is expected within the region in 2004. For non-track events, the number of recreational runners is increasing and more events seem to be geared toward attracting these athletes. The return of the BC Games in 2004 should also have an impact on the number of athletes who participate in track and field. A greater number of Midget age athletes are expected as individuals seek a spot on the BC Games team.

Fixtures

(All figures taken from the BC Athletics website: www.bcathletics.org)

The total number of events seems to fluctuate from year to year. Road running and cross country races continue to make up the majority of events within the zones. Thirteen off-track events were held in Zone Seven this year, only five of those sanctioned by BC Athletics. There were twenty-one road events in Zone Eight, sixteen of which were sanctioned by BC Athletics. Of the twelve cross country races held in Zone eight, ten were sanctioned events. There was also a great proliferation of charity events, such as the Mother and Daughter Walk, and the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for a Friend, which remain unsanctioned. It is vital that race organizers understand the importance of sanctioning events. A greater focus in this area needs to be made to get this information out to event hosts and organizing committees.

There were very few track and field events held in the two zones this year. Although track and field continues to thrive at the elementary school level (where all events are unsanctioned), there is a decrease in the number of events and the number of participants for Midget age athletes and older (high school and post-high school). Six sanctioned track and field competitions were held in the two zones during 2003; there were several events held at the school level that were not sanctioned.

The number of events held in the zones is not, of itself, an indicator of the health of the sport. The number of non-track events seems to be strong throughout the spring and summer, while the number of track events has, to some extent, reached a critical mass. The member clubs are only able to host a certain number of events within an increasingly full competition calendar; it is difficult to increase the number of events in this region. The exception to this is the establishment of an "Interior Championship" meet which is to be held in Prince George at the end of July. This meet is expected to draw competitors from across the interior zones (1, 2, 7, and 8) and act as a stepping stone to the next level (ie. provincial championships). This meet is expected to rotate throughout the interior on a yearly basis as clubs and athletes vie for the championship.

Highlights

  • Geoff Maritnson (PGTF) was 12th in the 800m and Quinton Gamble (SZTC) was 13th in the 400mH at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

  • Bevin Kennelly (PGTF) represented Canada at the Pan American Junior Championships in Bridgetown, Barbados, placing fourth in the 2000m Steeplechase.

  • Mike Thompson (PGTF), running for Stephen F. Austin State University (Nacogdoches, TX) won the Southland Conference Cross Country Championship, placed third at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships, and 37th at the NCAA Championships.