Mount Pearl, NL
May 16, 2016
Mount Pearl and Pearlgate have quietly kept the sport of track and field alive and well in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador for the last 20 years. The club, which is comprised of only a couple volunteer coaches and approximately 40 members is one of only 2 facilities in the province for athletics. The tough spirit of the people of this province is personified by the facility and it's volunteers; with average wind speeds around 25-30 km/hr and cool temperatures through the entire summer, athletes young and old brave the elements for the love of the sport. We hold about 10 track meets every summer rain, snow, or sunshine and continue to develop nationally ranked athletes year after year. With NL having the highest rate of obesity and heart disease in the country, the track club is a beacon of active life style for young members of the community, introducing them to the foundations of healthy living and healthy competition.
The facility has several primary issues. The track is losing it's traction and is dangerous in wet weather. Some of the money would have to go to resurfacing the track. Further, their is no shelter from prevailing winds blowing from the east. Some of the money would be allocated towards adding trees and fences along the track to shelter from the elements. Another issue is the lack of steeple chase barriers for female athletes. As this is a gender equity issue, we would certainly purchase adjustable standards. If there was any money remaining, the club would like to add an extra room to have a gym for winter training.
Upgrading the facility would allow it to be a place not only for our athletes to have more effective training but we could invite other clubs across Atlantic Canada to compete against us. Our biggest cost as a team from an island is travel. Having a state of the art track would allow us to invite others here to get top level competition. The pride of the club and the people involved in it can only compensate for the deteriorating facility to a certain degree. As our provincial and municipal budgets have been absolutely disintegrated with the recent drop in global oil prices, we fear people's interest in active life style and track and field could follow the trend. Losing quality in Pearlgate would certainly cause a blow to the small following of the sport and possibly end it for good. We currently have the strongest batch of youth and midget athletes we've had in recent memory and an upgrade to our infrastructure could be exactly what we need to push them on the national stage.