This year’s Northwest Territories Track and Field Championships has come to a close, but another successful year is on Hay River’s record.
Over 1,000 kids from 17 communities across the NWT were in Hay River from June 2-4 competing for a territorial title.
Despite potential complications with the construction of the new trades centre at Diamond Jenness Secondary School, the track meet went off without any major problems.
“I think it went fantastic,” said Tim Borchuk, co-coordinator of the event. “There are always little things we can improve on. It is great, it makes what we have here even better.”
The only improvement Borchuk had was being more prepared with the track. The warm weather dried out the track quickly, by no ones fault by the temperatures.
But none of the kids seemed to mind.
The warm temperatures kept spirits up as young athletes cheered on their teammates and took their own turns participating in their events.
“I think it is a pretty fun event,” said 15-year-old Julia Gyapay from Ecole Boreale. “I have been participating for quite a few years now, so it’s cool to see all the same people and see familiar faces.”
She was pleased to see the weather co-operate this year, as was everyone else in attendance.
“The weather is really unbelievable,” she said. “One year it was snowing and everyone was wrapped up.”
There was no question about warmth this year as umbrellas, tents and even a teepee were set up to help shelter athletes, coaches and spectators from the sun.
Both Chelsea Young and Cynthia Flunkie agreed that the best part of the meet was the absence of class.
“It is awesome,” said Young. “We get exercise, and no school.”
Wednesday’s opening ceremonies allowed each school to march into the arena with a banner stating their schools name. After all the athletes were seated indoors, motivational words and videos filled the room. Brendan Green lit the ceremonial flame and the meet was declared open.
Both Thursday and Friday were chalk filled with track and field events, including the annual corporate relay. This year, one team was dressed as chickens, one in snowgear and one even had to pass off a wheelbarrow with a bird mascot sitting inside as their baton.
The awards ceremony Friday afternoon allowed all the participants in attendance to recognize their fellow northern athletes and celebrate another year of NWT track and field.
“It has been a very fun few days,” said St. Patrick’s Gabriel Darku. “I can’t wait until next year.”