The Jack Wallace Memorial Track, originally built as training grounds for the 1994 Commonwealth Games, has been a significant community asset ever since. (Keri Coles/News Staff)

The Jack Wallace Memorial Track, originally built as training grounds for the 1994 Commonwealth Games, has been a significant community asset ever since. (Keri Coles/News Staff)

Oak Bay High spearheads campaign to resurface Commonwealth Games training track

Community campaigns to revitalize Jack Wallace Memorial Track

Oak Bay Cross Country and other athletes and members in the community kick off “Keeping the Community on Track” campaign to raise funds to resurface and repair the Jack Wallace Memorial Track at Oak Bay High.

“We are hoping for community support to revitalize the Jack Wallace Track as it is in need of an upgrade,” Oak Bay High Principal Randi Falls said.

The track, originally built as training grounds for the 1994 Commonwealth Games, has been a significant community asset ever since, providing training space for Oak Bay High’s cross country and track and field runners, as well as community and sport groups including Special Olympics, Victoria Athletics Track and Field Club, Oak Bay Recreation after school and sport programs, and mental wellness programs.

RELATED: Athletes on track for fun and competition

A major benefit of the track has been its accessibility to all users. The facility is open at all times and has been used by community members of all ages. But with the use, the track’s age is starting to show.

“It has been widely used for the 25 years since,” said Oak Bay High coach Keith Butler. “The current surface, laid in 1993, has deteriorated badly. There are spots where the track has been worn down right to the asphalt underneath.”

The cost of resurfacing the track is about $250,000 and the school is looking for community support in raising the funds.

The track resurfacing committee, besides upgrading the track surface, throwing circles and run-ups, wants to provide facility access and training areas for athletes with disabilities, ensuring the facility retains its legacy of inclusiveness and access to all.

RELATED: Oak Bay High sweeps men’s, women’s cross-country Island titles

The track is named after Jack Wallace, a principal of Oak Bay High in the 60s and Kiwanis Club member, who is described as a “tremendous leader.”

“Kiwanis originally contributed money in support of naming the track after Jack Wallace, and the school did a fundraising campaign where every single teacher advisory group raised money to contribute to the track. There was tremendous support from the community and school for that and we are hoping that we get that community support again,” said Butler.


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

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