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2014-06-10 at 16:56

Running and jumping

By Matt Vis,
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THUNDER BAY -- The city’s future track and field stars are getting their moment in the sun.

Close to 650 athletes from 20 area schools will run, jump and throw at the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board’s annual elementary meet, which kicked off under bright blue skies Tuesday at the Fort William Stadium.

“We’ve heard so many reports about kids not getting out and being active anymore and this just goes to show that so many kids are still out there participating, training and trying to achieve excellence in physical education,” meet co-convener Franco Donato said.

“Every year we seem to break more and more records so people are still pushing and still active. It’s good to see.”

In addition to the hundreds of students, there were also plenty of parents and teachers on hand to lend their support. The bleachers and grandstands at the stadium were filled with spectators throughout the day.

The large crowds create a special atmosphere for the athletes.

“There is a sense of camaraderie and community within the schools so when they see their classmate running and competing they’re cheering them on. They want to see them do well for themselves and for their school,” Donato said.

Events offered from the meet include track events ranging from 100-metre sprints up to the 1,500-metre distance, three jumping disciplines and a baseball throw for the younger competitors.

The youngest athletes competing are in Grade 4, with the oldest in Grade 8, athletes who are in their final months of elementary or middle school before heading off to high school in the fall.

The number of athletes is consistent with the participation rate in past years.

Donato said there is no shortage of participants.

“We slot so many students for every event and every year we fill up every event,” Donato said.

The two-day meet will conclude on Wednesday at Fort William Stadium.


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