01 October 2019

Vancouver Park Board approves Track and Field Strategy

October 1 2019 

The Vancouver Park Board has approved the Track and Field Strategy, a document that will guide short-and long-term investment, management, and programming at Vancouver's track and field facilities.

The approval of the strategy allows several projects to proceed to next steps, including the development of Vancouver’s first regulation competitive track and field training facility at Vancouver Technical Secondary School and upgrading existing track and field facilities at Templeton Park and Kerrisdale Park/Point Grey Secondary.

Much-needed roadmap

“The Park Board recognizes the physical and mental benefits of sport and physical activity among children, youth and adults,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon. “The Track and Field Strategy is a much-needed roadmap for investment in our city that will ensure we have the facilities and supports in place for people of all ages and abilities to have access to inclusive, low barrier amenities that support walking, running, and competitive track and field.”

The strategy was unanimously approved by the Park Board at its regular meeting on Sept. 30 after hearing from a number of stakeholders and advisory group members, including Diane and Doug Clement, both former track and field Olympians who expressed their gratitude for renewed investments in track and field in Vancouver.

The Clements spoke passionately about Vancouver’s rich history in track and field, noting the new facility would do much to match the city’s world-class amenities.

Vancouver-born Barbara Howard became the first black woman to represent Canada in international competition at the British Empire Games in 1938. Sixteen years later, Vancouver made headlines around the world as the site of Roger Bannister’s Miracle Mile at Empire Stadium in 1954. Olympic sprinter Harry Jerome, whose statue graces the Coal Harbour waterfront in Stanley Park, is one of the city’s best-known track athletes, competing in three summer Olympics and winning bronze in the 100 metre in the 1964 games.

Four themes

The strategy, developed in partnership with the Vancouver School Board, provides a framework and recommendations under four themes:
  1. Design and infrastructure
  2. Access and participation
  3. Programming and cooperation
  4. Management and operations for Vancouver’s 14 existing facilities, and for future expansion
Comprehensive public engagement helped shape the strategy and included input from more than 4,000 stakeholders. Outreach included surveys, pop-up events, advisory group meetings, and open houses. Engagement partners included the Vancouver Field Sport Federation, Vancouver Sport Network, BC Athletics and the BC Wheelchair Sports Association, as well as numerous community and varsity track and field clubs and societies.

Next steps for the strategy include concept plans for the Category A facility at Vancouver Technical Secondary, and detailed design and contract award recommendations for the upgrades at Kerrisdale Park/Point Grey Secondary and Templeton Park.

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