Annual sports weekend at Centennial Stadium provides fun and celebration
Monday July 4, 2011 — Ryan Rogers
Operation Trackshoes’ inaugural regional meet was opened by the Lieutenant Governor George Pearkes in 1971, with 98 competitors and held for one afternoon.
Forty-one years later, adult support worker Jonathan Bryce and a team of nine participants from the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) were among more than 560 participants in attendance at the University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium for Operation Trackshoes June 10-12, 2011.
The event has grown into an entire weekend with participants and coaches staying in the campus dormitories, and includes a celebration on Saturday night featuring live music and dancing.
Jonathan has attended Operation Trackshoes three times, and this was the first year he was the organizer for BACI’s representatives.
He says he enjoyed organizing and planning BACI’s involvement, and the participants had a great time.
“It’s something they look forward to all year.”
Participants register and compete in the wheelchair gym races, high jump, shot put, basketball, croquet and bocce, among other events.
“They all win ribbons, and they just love it,” says Jonathan.
The excitement begins with the ferry ride to Victoria and their traditional stop at a Dairy Queen for treats.
Jonathan says he wants to begin officially fundraising so more participants can join in at the event, because he’s seen how much it means to those who have had a chance to attend.
Registration is awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis, and there are few opportunities for new participants because space is limited by the amount of volunteers.
“It’s a big, fun weekend for these guys, and they really love it,” he says. “They don’t want to miss it, and it means a lot to all of them.”
He says the Saturday night celebration is the highlight of the event because everyone enjoys the ceremonies, trophies, dancing and live music.
“They all love doing the events and getting their ribbons, but I really think they love their dinner and dance,” says Jonathan. “They all take home something different.”
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