The Oceanside Track and Field Club held a successful bottle drive May 16 at the Parksville Bottle and Recycling Depot to help raise funds for the Oceanside Community Track. (Michael Briones photo)

The Oceanside Track and Field Club held a successful bottle drive May 16 at the Parksville Bottle and Recycling Depot to help raise funds for the Oceanside Community Track. (Michael Briones photo)

Fitness campaign launched to raise $250K for running track in Parksville

Community fundraisers set 250,000-lap goal

A new campaign has been launched to encourage residents to hit the streets and trails this Olympic year to keep fit and raise money for the new Oceanside Community Track at Ballenas Secondary School.

Everyone who signs up to the ‘Track Your Fitness’ campaign will contribute to the collective team goal of 100,000 kilometres. This represents 250,000 laps of the running track — that’s Oceanside to the Tokyo Olympic Stadium and back eight times.

The Oceanside Community Track Committee has already successfully raised one-third of the $1.5M target and is excited for the community to get involved, get outside, get fit and join in the fun. The 250,000-lap goal represents the community fundraising target for the track of $250,000.

Anyone can join ‘Team Red’ and submit their weekly distance online. Whether parents getting kids outside, pets walkers, joggers and hikers to seniors inspired by Captain Sir Thomas Moore, who at age 99 raised money by walking 100 laps of his garden.

While out exercising, Team Red members can be identified wearing a red item of clothing such as a T-shirt or hat which signifies the colour of the new track.

RELATED: Parksville running track project gets funding commitment from pair of RDN electoral areas

The campaign has already flown out of the blocks with Elaine Young, the first Team Red member, who has already walked 950 kilometres and pledged to cover 2,000 km by September.

“I love to walk, and thought it would be fun to track my weekly distances to raise money for the new Oceanside Community Track,” said Young.

“I’ve pledged to walk over 47 marathons by September. As an active senior citizen, I need a track to help protect my knees and hips as I learn to run. I shared the campaign on Facebook and people from around the world have generously donated. It’s wonderful to keep fit and raise money for the new track.”

“Elaine’s example is incredibly inspiring,” said Rudy Terpstra, chair of the track steering committee. “We are asking walkers, runners, hikers, and anyone looking to become more active to join the team and help make this track a reality. Every step really does count.”

During the weekend, the Oceanside Track and Field held a successful bottle drive at the Parksville Bottle Depot and Recycling Depot to help raise funds for the Oceanside Community Track. Residents came out with bags of refundable bottles and cans with some directly donating money.

The Ballenas cinder track is past its life cycle.

The plan it to upgrade the track and turn it into a six lane competition rubberized track to provide a safer training facility for students and for the whole community to use.

The committee is hoping to secure the $1.5 million in funding it needs this year, start construction in the spring of 2022 and complete it in the fall of 2022.

Team Red has a GoFundMe page where anyone can donate.

You can track Team Red’s 250,000 lap goal by visiting Oceanside Community Track website. To donate and cheer on Young and others, visit: https://www.oceansidecommunitytrack.ca/donate/

To join Team Red or learn more, go to https://www.oceansidecommunitytrack.ca/join/

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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