Prince Rupert’s elementary school athletes ran their fastest and cheered their loudest at the annual track and field meet at the Charles Hays field.
|Girls from Conrad elementary school at the 2019 track and field meet at Charles Hays field. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
The words “Go Pineridge Go!” mingled through the air with “Go Conrad Go!” and “Go Roosevelt Go!” as over 100 students watched their friends race across the field.
Each year the Grade 4 and 5 students at the five elementary schools in the city get together and enjoy a half day off as they compete for ribbons and fun.
|Boys from Conrad elementary school at the 2019 track and field meet at Charles Hays field. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
The students did most track events from runs to relays, high jumps, long jumps, and ball throws.
“Hopefully it makes them aware of track and field and continue on in middle school and high school,” said Mike Cavin, teacher at Conrad Elementary and one of the event organizers.
The track and field meet is meant to encourage students to stay active and build a sense of team spirit.
“They come out here to have fun and get an introduction into camaraderie and school pride and to just work hard” said James Zlatanov, vice-principal of Roosevelt.
James Wintle, the school district’s occupational therapist, said this event is important to encourage young children to build up their “physical literacy” and their comfort level with physical activity.
“We really stress ‘sports for life’ as a way to keep them healthy. If they get involved at a young age they can develop that love for sport and body awareness and coordination to keep themselves going. It doesn’t matter if it is competitive or not, the important thing is to keep them happy and healthy,” he said.
Teachers volunteered their time outside of school hours to help the students prepare for their big day on the field.
“Making the team was the highlight of [my daughter’s] year and that made me really proud,” said Vern Barker about his daughter competing for Lax Kxeen Elementary.
Some parents and grandparents even took the morning off to watch their children play and brought them McDonalds for all their hard work at the end of their race.
“It’s all laughs, and fun, and they look forward to the event every year,” Zlatanov said.
Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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