Whitehorse Daily Star

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TOP NOTCH – The new track and field facility is nothing less than beautiful. It’s ready for use, and the ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday.

New $8.2-million track and field facility looking good and ready for use

The new track and field facility at the F.H. Collins Secondary School is nothing less than impressive.

By Chuck Tobin on August 28, 2020

The new track and field facility at the F.H. Collins Secondary School is nothing less than impressive.

The lane lines and numbers were just painted last week.

The infield soccer pitch is made of artificial turf, and all the lines have been laid out. There are the large nets for full field use but also smaller nets for cross field play by minor players.

Looking out over it, it almost looks like a piece or art work.

The official ribbon cutting ceremony for the $8.2-million project is scheduled for Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

Head coach Don White of Athletics Yukon said in an interview Thursday they’ll begin training on the track next week after the ceremony.

“It’s pretty special looking,” he said.

White said there are a couple of things still to be done but the track is ready for use. Having a rubberized surface provides Yukon athletes with the ability to train on a surface similar or the same as the tracks they compete on when they go south for major competitions, he said.

White said training on the same surface makes a big difference, physically.

It gives the athletes the opportunity to get their muscles used to spikes sticking in the surface, as opposed to a surface that they don’t use spikes for.

He remembers a few years ago an elite Yukon athlete ran a 5,000-metre race down south on a rubberized track and he couldn’t walk for two or three days afterwards because his muscles were not used to the spikes and rubberized tracks.

Aside from the training benefits, the facility provides for almost all the track and field events except for the javelin, hammer throw and discus events.

Those events need a regular grass field but the field is artificial turf which would be damaged by those three events, he explained.

Other than that, White said, the track is ready for everything from the 100-metre sprint and relay events to the 10,000-metre. There is a water pit required for the steeple chase event.

There are two long jump and triple jump pits, which have a hard cover when not in use. There are areas to hold the high jump and pole vaulting events.

The head coach said the Elderactive Recreation Association will be using it, as will Special Olympics Yukon to prepare their athletes for national and international competitions.

F.H. Collins has expressed an interest in using the track and field during and after school, he said.

White said one of the challenges will be scheduling and organizing the use of the track and soccer pitch because just as Athletics Yukon is looking forward to the new facility, so too is the soccer community, and the rugby community.

Yukon Soccer Association president Fabian Glyka said soccer players are indeed looking forward to playing on the new pitch.

It’s been a while in coming but now it’s ready, he said.

“I think everybody is excited about it,” Glyka said. “It’s like a little kid’s present that has been tucked away for a long time that you finally get to open.”

Glyka said it’s too late in the summer for any league play but he suspects it will be well used by development teams and such for the remainder of the outdoor season.

But it will be well in use next season by soccer players of all ages, he said.

“I think next year we will see that facility in full swing,” Glyka said. “That we can count on.”

Glyka said the artificial turf is of high quality, which is what the Yukon soccer community needs because of the level of play here.

It offers consistency in field conditions, not having to worry about wet spots or divots in the field that could trip up a player, he said.

Glyka said the field will also extend the season because it will be available for use earlier in the spring because it will dry quicker than the regular grass fields, and it will go longer into the fall.

The federal government contributed over $6 million for the project and $2 million came from the Yukon government.

Comments (1)

Up 5 Down 3

Addison; on Aug 28, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Amazing work can be done with a golf cart!

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