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Powell River Track and Field seeks human resources help

“If we can’t get volunteers, we are unfortunately going to have to close the club and likely look at having to liquidate assets." ~ Club president Matt Hull
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Powell River Track and Field has been dormant for the past couple of years due to COVID-19 and is in danger of folding if people can’t be found to fill director positions, or to help coaching young track and field athletes.

Powell River Track and Field is looking for board members and coaches so the sports organization can continue its operations.

President Matt Hull said the club has been around for a long time and through the years there have been years when there have been lots of volunteers and lots of participants. The club’s current difficulties began with COVID-19.

Hull said after the worst of the pandemic, the club is down to a couple of volunteers who are able to help and only a few board members.

A decision was made for the club to take a break for a couple of years due to the pandemic. Hull said the club is now having a hard time finding parents who have the time to dedicate to track and field.

“In the past couple of years, we’ve left it in a sleeping mode, where yes, we had a club, and we were filing under the Societies Act,” said Hull. “We have fulfilled all of our obligations but we’ve really come to a point where our current board of directors is no longer able to function. The members of our board are all stepping down at our annual general meeting on December 8, so we’re looking for parents who are willing to take on that role and responsibility.”

The club is also looking for parents who are willing to assist with coaching. Hull said BC Athletics is able to provide training, so if parents can be found who are willing to assist but are missing some skills, there is access to training. He said the club has money to pay for that and would love to do training so people can feel safe.

“If we can’t get volunteers, we are unfortunately going to have to close the club and likely look at having to liquidate assets,” said Hull. “We’re putting the call out. We know there are parents out there who want kids to be active and involved.”

The club accommodates athletes between grades three and seven, with Brooks Secondary School taking on the high school students interested in track and field.

“We run a basic run, jump, throw program, so it’s introducing kids to the sprints and longer distance, but also shot put, javelin, high jump and long jump,” said Hull. “We give them a view of what track and field looks like and they can really get into it when they get to high school with coaches Connie Polman Tuin and Scott Glaspey, who have done a lot of work over the years.”

Both are Powell River Sports Hall of Fame inductees.

Looking for leader

Hull said the club is looking for someone who is willing to organize on the track and take on that leadership role. The club will also need some parents who are willing to get out on the track with the young athletes. He is hoping a sufficient number of people come forward so there can be a new board of directors, as well as people who are willing to coach the team members.

Hull said his son started with the track club in grade three and it changed his life.

“He’s now in grade 10 and went to the BC Summer Games,” added Hull. “He competes and absolutely loves his track and field experience. I have younger daughters who would love to go if we can run it. We just need more bodies.”

One of the benefits of membership in the club is that it gets young people moving. The hope is to introduce them to activities that will encourage a lifetime of movement.

“We want kids to get out and run some laps, or to do some races and possibly head to some meets and meet some kids on the island; it’s a great way to make connections,” said Hull. “It’s a great sport because people can get out to the track anytime and run. You can do those things by yourself. We’re trying to encourage kids to get active and create a lifelong healthy lifestyle.”

Hull said kids can also join the club and not be competitive with anyone other than themselves, trying to make personal best times or distances.

If people are interested in coming forward to help as a director or coach, they can reach out to Hull [email protected]. They can let him know in advance they are interested, or attend the annual general meeting on December 8 at 7 pm in the Henderson Elementary School library.

“We are going to hope for the best,” said Hull. “Track and field in this community has a wonderful legacy. We haven’t been wanting to pull the plug because it is so important, but we are getting to the point where we can’t fulfill our obligations.”