BC Athletics

CROSS COUNTRY REPORT

Cross Country Committee Report to B.C. Athletics Annual General Meeting

January 21, 2006

This committee was formed four years ago to handle the responsibilities of awarding our annual Cross Country Championships to a hosting club; to select the B.C. Team for the Canadian Cross Country Championships; to select the B.C. Cross Country awards; and to promote and assist with the growth and enjoyment of cross country running in British Columbia. Cross country is a growing sport in North America, particularly in the United States with strong programs in the high schools and universities. Although the growth in Canada may not be as fast it is nevertheless growing after many years of decline. Our BC Club Championships have grown from 467 finishers in 2003 to 531 in 2005, a 14% growth. This is very encouraging. We also are pleased that the high school program in BC is doing its best to grow the sport and is likely going to add a younger category in future Championships. This will go a long way to encouraging and retaining the younger up and coming runners. It is the committee's belief that continued growth can be sustained with cooperation between clubs, schools and universities. It is in the area of promotion and growth of our sport that is our most challenging but valuable contribution. Areas we focus on include improvement in the level of participation and caliber of athletes competing. As required we will recommend actions to ensure there will be continued existence, growth and development of our sport. As well we need to ensure there is a coordinated program for the various age groups from Junior Development to Masters. The ultimate goal is to provide top quality races for everyone and thereby provide opportunities for athlete development. A further benefit of a well-developed program will be to produce runners who will represent our province well at regional, national and international competitions.

The committee is ideally structured to have representatives from the 8 provincial zones, the age group committees and 4 members at large. Unfortunately we have never been able to form such an ideal committee, as everyone is just too busy it seems; however, if anyone at this year's AGM has an interest in cross-country we would love to have you join our committee and get your valued input, particularly if you are from an outlying zone as we are lacking representatives from those areas. We do most of our communicating by emails and schedule meetings for times when we are all centrally gathered. I continue to look forward to the exciting possibilities that can be achieved by an enthusiastic and creative committee.

The Provincial Championships this year were again held at Crescent Park and were hosted by Tom Hastie and the Semiahmoo Sunrunners. This year as last, everyone agreed the courses were terrific, the races well organized and all categories were hotly contested. The crowning touch was the unbelievable weather Tom laid on for us two years in a row! Thanks Tom and all your crew for an exceptional job. Again this year it was very difficult choosing winners of the annual Cross Country awards. This is a pleasant problem to have to deal with and bodes well for the future growth of Cross Country in BC. Congratulations to those selected, you have worked very hard in achieving your successes. To those who were so close, keep on plugging away and give it your all again next season. Best of luck to all of you.

At the time of this report we are sending out requests to all BC Athletics' Clubs to bid on hosting the 2006_2007 Cross Country Championships. For the last several years the hosting clubs have been from the lower mainland. It is not a requirement however that the championships be held in the lower mainland so if any clubs from the BC interior or Vancouver Island are interested in hosting the championships please consider sending in a bid. The Bidding request notice was published in the BC Athletics Weekly Bulletin with bids closing at January 13, 2006. Hopefully we will have several bids received by the time of our AGM.
As chair of the committee I would like to thank all of the members who actively participated in our many duties in the past year. Your help made my job very easy and I look forward to continued cooperation in the future. I also look forward to the 2006 cross-country season. Best wishes to all athletes no matter what level you are participating in. I hope things improve for the better and with everyone's enthusiasm and ingenuity I'm sure we will have a very successful season. Spread the word and get some of those soccer and basketball players out. It will help their game!

On behalf of the current committee: Brent Fougner, Marek Jedrzejek, Al Johnson, Andrew Lenton, Mike Lonergan, Mike O'Connor, Gerry Swan, Sue Northey and Brit Townsend

Respectfully, Frank Reynolds