Thousands of local kids are hitting Kelowna's Apple Bowl this week for an annual track and field meet, where 40 different schools from all across the Okanagan take part in a variety of different events.
The two-day meet features running and athletics events like high jump and shot put, said long time track meet volunteer Jim Bradshaw.
“Without a doubt, the relays are the highlight. When you’ve got all the kids in the stands and they’re cheering for their school, it’s something else. You definitely feel a little chill as they’re coming down the track to finish their run," he said.
First time track and field athlete Olivia, from Mar Jok Elementary, was happy to break away from the classroom and eager to take part in the day’s activities.
“I’m really excited because like, I don’t know, it’s just a big place and I get to compete against other people… Shot put is really fun and 800 metre is really fun but it drains energy. And then those are my favourite events. Shot put because I get to use my arm strength,” said the fourth grader.
Having been a part of the school district’s physical education each spring for years, Chute Lake Elementary teacher Carmelle Guidi-Swan believes it’s an important day for all students.
“We had one little girl, Presley Scott, broke a 1,200 metre district record this morning, so she’s super pumped and yeah, overall it’s a great day,” she said.
Jolene Nykyforuk, Grade 4 at Anne McClymont Elementary, also broke a 1,200 metre and 800 metre district record in her age group.
“It really teaches them about determination and overcoming obstacles because some of them have had a tough day," Guidi-Swan said.
"I had one little girl puking from the nerves and then came out and won her event, so it’s about that resilience and just really learning how to deal with suffering. I know, I've been a triathlete for many years, and just kind of passing on some of my suffer stories to them I think helps. It’s so good for the kids.”
The two-day track meet at Kelowna’s Apple Bowl will wrap up with the 100 metre race on Thursday.