I am a student at Ballenas Secondary, and I run on the school’s track team as well as the Oceanside Track and Field team. I can tell you that the track is most definitely not a more than adequate running surface.
After eight years, I am now well-conditioned to running on the uneven surface of potholes, divots, rocks and weeds but that does not make it a prime facility. To call it a cinder track would be an extreme exaggeration; there is not one single section of that oval that is not damaged by rocks and weeds.
The cement curb, long jump pits, throwing cages and high jump pad were all built from grant money, volunteer labour and fundraising from the Oceanside Track and Field Club. There was minimal to no financial support from Ballenas.
It does not surprise me that our track is at the bottom of the list to be repaired. There is a lack of interest from teachers to get directly involved in track. I am not saying that the track team is more important than the football or soccer teams, or that the tennis courts are not in dire condition.
Oceanside Track Field Club has won the award for the highest amount of points brought in by one club on Vancouver Island, and we have the worst facility of any club, it’s so bad we can’t even host a meet, never mind hosting BC Summer Games or any other large events that would benefit the entire community. Certainly the track does the job for the Elementary School Track Meet every year, however, they would also benefit from a better facility as we are all making do.
I don’t believe anyone ever said we needed a $2.5 million dollar track, simply refinishing it with real cinder would be a great start and improvement.