Calling all volunteers – Track and field championships still need more help

From clearing the track of snow to the closing ceremonies, one of Hay River’s largest volunteer-run events is nearing and looking to fill some last-minute spots.

Volunteer co-ordinators Jill Taylor and Candi Carleton have so far signed up 250 volunteers for on-the-field and behind-the-scene positions for the NWT Track and Field Championships, but they need 300-plus if the event is to go off without a hitch.

The event, held annually at Diamond Jenness Secondary School field for more than two decades, hosts approximately 1,200 athletes, and more than 100 coaches. Along with spectators and parents, the small town of Hay River will explode in population in early June.

“For many kids coming to us from the communities, this is the trip of the year,” said Taylor. “Every year, some of those teams raise funds all year in order to be able to come.”

Lina Gallagher confirms the registration of teams across the territory.

She said there are already groups of students registered from Behchoko, Trout Lake, Wrigley, Fort Resolution, Whati, Wekweti, Fort McPherson, Fort Smith and elsewhere.

With around 400 students registered in town and the 800-plus athletes from across the territory, meal-planning is an incredible feat, said Gallagher.

Last year, helpers fed more than 900 students.

Volunteer teams are still looking to fill spots for the kitchen, stats room, awards, individual events and opening ceremonies. Depending on schedules, shifts can be between one and multiple hours.

The event runs June 6-8.

“We definitely could still use a lot of help in any position,” said Taylor. “No experience is necessary. People will be trained.”