by Chilliwack Track and Field, 2018-01-05T10:08:57-08:00January 05 2018, at 10:08 AM PST
The finish line nears for the Chilliwack Track and Field Club (CTFC).
For 32 years, the club has developed athletes aged nine and above from the local community. Many of its athletes have been school and club champions and medalists. Some have gone on to athletic scholarships in the United States and Canada and to represent Canada internationally.
But the coaches who developed that athletic talent have aged along with the club. Several have recently retired from their teaching positions in District 33 and have left the club to pursue other activities. Only one of the club’s longtime coaches remains active, and he too plans to leave the club, following the conclusion of the 2018 season.
Without an infusion of enthusiastic, energetic, and knowledgeable track-and-field coaches qualified under the Coaching Association of Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program, the club faces an uncertain future. The CTFC’s public plea for help in summer 2017 brought only a single new coach to the club. This is insufficient to enable the club to continue to offer its youngest members the wide-ranging developmental program that has been its mainstay since its inception.
The CTFC’s junior development (JD) program, which saw youngsters aged 9 through 13 acquire skills in many of the multiple disciplines that make up the sport of athletics, is consequently suspended effective as of this writing, in December 2017. Whether the JD program restarts depends on the availability of a certified coach or coaches to take it over. For now, the club is accepting no JD members below age 13.
The lone CTFC coach available to athletes from early October through late July is sprint and hurdles coach Howard Brandt, who has been with the club since 1996. He works mostly with athletes aged 13 and older and will accept as many as 10 more preferably late middle to high school athletes in his training group. But new members must be talented sprinters, motivated to improve, open to being coached and to adapting their technique, committed to competing for their schools and the club, a good fit in attitude and aptitude with other of the training group’s athletes, and fully paid-up club members after a brief free trial of several training sessions. Athletes who show that they’ll be a positive addition to the club will be invited to remain following a brief probationary period.
In the month of January, 2018, new club distance coach and former CTFC middle-distance athlete Travis Vugteveen may be open to adding members to his training group. His requirements undoubtedly will mirror those above.