Bright future for track and field program

Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Ernie Bergen (Grade 12)

Garden Valley Collegiate students have waited for the new track to be completed for the last two years. Now, almost three years after construction began on the track/soccer-field combo, they will see if it was worth the time and money that was spent on the project.

The grand opening of the new track was held on May 20. The first event to be held there will be the 1998 Zone 4 high school track and field championships. This is the first time that the Zone track championships have been held in Winkler. People at the school are very excited about the new facilities.

"Because of the new track/soccer field, we will be able to host a lot of other meets and championships," says Dan Giesbrecht, vice principal of Garden Valley Collegiate.

"We are also hosting the 1999 and 2000 provincial championships. We would never have been able to host events such as these with the old track."

The opening of this new track was a day to remember for the students and staff of Garden Valley Collegiate. The day started out with a free breakfast for the major contributors of the track. It was a "thank you" for all they had done to make the project possible.

After breakfast, the track was opened with a novelty race and the unveiling of a plaque. Then, the GVC athletes took front and center. They are practicing hard for the upcoming Zone 4 Championships.

Some people have questioned whether this track/soccer project was worth the money that was spent on it, but there is no doubt in the mind of Dan Giesbrecht.

"One major championship could pay for the cost. Athletes will benefit for many years. The facility is expected to benefit not only the GVC track team, but also the rest of the town," Mr. Giesbrecht says. "When track meets and soccer tournaments are held at the facility, they will bring in money to local business. I wish the track would have been built 23 years ago."

With the completion of the track, the performance of the GVC track team will most likely improve.

"I think certain events will greatly improve, but it will have no effect on others," said Karl Redekop, the school's principal.

"With the new and better training facility, the athletes will be able to practice on a track that they will be racing on later on in the season. Before the new track, there were no competitions held in Winkler. Now, the GVC track team will enjoy the 'home field advantage'."

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