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Despite lack of local track, Peninsula Track and Field Club running strong

Two athletes will represent the club at the 2022 BC Games in Prince George July 21-24

As the 2022 BC Games in Prince George July 21 to 24 approach, the roster of names representing Peninsula Track and Field Club is rounding into shape.

Egan Franey and Levi Venables, both 13, made the Zone 6 BC Summer Games team. The duo will be representing the club in a variety of events. Franey will be competing in the hammer throw, discus, and javelin while Venables will be competing in the pentathlon, said their coach Aaron Holmgren.

The announcement of the duo’s selection to the games, which brings together British Columbia’s best emerging high-performance athletes, trained coaches and certified officials, comes after a busy season for the club with some events still coming up.

Rosie Haynes, whom the club named its runner of the year, will be vying for the fastest time in the 300 metre, when she will participate in the BC Athletics Junior Development Track and Field Championships in Surrey from July 15 to 17.

The club, formed in 1984 and offering athletes a chance to compete in a wide variety of events minus pole vault, is recording these achievements against the backdrop of not only COVID-19, but also changes to the track at Parkland Secondary School with the track currently undergoing replacement.

As Holmgren said earlier in the year, the club had difficulties finding coaches prior to COVID.

It then had to forgo a season in 2020 because of COVID restrictions before getting through the 2021 season by splitting up practices into separate days. Things have again changed since then.

“(Now) with a solid group of new coaches and excellent head of marketing our club is bursting with interest and membership has grown dramatically,” he said. With interest high and access to facilities limited, the club has actually had to cap interest.

RELATED: Campaign to replace North Saanich running track approaching finish line

“We don’t have the facilities to accommodate them all right now,” said Holmgren earlier this June, adding that the club is currently keeping a waitlist.

During the season, the club has continued to train twice a week with one training session in North Saanich on space next to the track currently undergoing replacement and another session at rented space in Saanich at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE) for more advanced athletes.

But these obstacles also appeared to have brought the club close together. Photos from various events show club athletes and their coaches, many of them parents, supporting and cheering each other on, with the results to show for it.

“It’s been a pretty remarkable season considering we’ve been training without our home track at Parklands this year and we’re coming off two years of pandemic impacts on training and competing,” said Holmgren, who took home two gold medals himself as one of the top-ranked runners in the 800m and 1500m for his age group nationally.

“I’m proud of the athletes and the club, those competing and those training just for the perseverance and dedication that it takes to be a track athlete.”

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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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