Dawson Creek Secondary School's track and field club is up, running, and shows no signs of slowing down. Members were out practicing at Kin Park this past Friday afternoon, enjoying the warm September weather.
Coach Eric Wolf has been teaching and coaching grades eight to twelve for 16 years and says a great sense of pride, comradery, and good sportsmanship can always be found with his team.
"They're a great group of kids. The great thing about this sport is that you're running for you, you're doing your ability and it's not about being first in everything, it's a lot of self improvement," said Wolf. "Sometimes it is individualistic, but we also have a great team aspect."
Grade 11 student Landon McKechnie, says the club has been a great outlet for him, and started running in grade eight.
"Everyone's always been super welcoming, it's a nice atmosphere. It's also been very cool to see myself develop and grow over the years, here and in life in general."
The club itself is also very inclusive, accepting runners not just from DCSS, also students from Mount Christian School or even home-schoolers.
"Some people have ran with us for years, not even in our school, but they've always been part of our team," said Wolf, noting they run rain or shine. "We run in every kind of weather. Two feet of snow and we'll still be there, the only thing that stops us is extremely cold temperatures or if the air quality is bad."
Wolf added the past two years has been challenging due to COVID-19, with restrictions making provincial championships impossible to happen. Despite the setback, he says the sport was one of the few that could continue, due to being able to safely practice outside.
"Because we're an outside activity we were able to have kids here to practice. We did have a bit of season, bit we didn't have any zone competitions or provincial competitions," said Wolf. "This year it looks like we have zone competitions and provincials back, so these guys will run here."
While travel to Alberta is out, competition with Fort St John and the rest of B.C. is planned. Zone championships will take place in Quesnel this October.
Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News, Local Journalism Initiative. Email Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org