Sports High School Sports

Valour dedicates new discus circle

By Sean Chase, The Daily Observer

 

PETAWAWA – The Valour sports stadium has added a critical piece that will better train high school athletes in track and field.

The school and the Town of Petawawa recently opened an $9,000 discus throwing circle which is located in the corner of one of the Civic Centre's soccer fields but is part of the Valour complex. Councillor Gary Serviss, who also teaches and coaches at Valour, said this is a major addition to the facility which will now ensure students can safely train, while there is no danger to the public.

“It's as good as any at most of the track meets that we go to,” said Serviss. “We can now safely practice.”

The circle was part of a joint effort between the school and town. Built in 2015, the track and field facility constructed on a six-acre parcel is part of a 30-year agreement between the town and the Renfrew County District School Board. While the municipality will build, maintain and operate the field, the board is to contribute $6,000 annually.

For this project, the board paid for the equipment, while the town's laid the concrete and provided the labour. With Petawawa hosting the Ontario Federation of Schools Athletic Association cross-country championships this November, the community could be in contention to bid for other major high school meets in the future. Track and field is gaining in popularity thanks to the success of Eganville Olympian Melissa Bishop, he added.

“Right now, as a county, we have no usuable track for a meet,” added Serviss. “So we have to bus everyone to Ottawa. So we could keep our championships local but attract Eastern Ontario championships, East Regional championships, and maybe one day the All-Ontario championships right here in Petawawa.”

Parks and recreation manager Kelly Williams praised partnership with school board noting the town wants to maximize the use of the facilities that they have.

“The municipality has invested a lot of money over the years in building high quality sports fields which gives us the opportunity to expand into other activities,” said Williams.

The circle is not only available for Valour Voyageurs. Students from other high schools will have the chance to use it in their training if they wish. However, Valour has done well without a circle to this point. Discus thrower Ethan Bullivant has achieved a personal best distance of 45.77 metres and finished as high as fifth in the province. The new circle was a big hit with him and other athletes who came to try it out.

“We were throwing from a shot put circle so it's nice to have something that we can actually use to throw and get better,” Bullivant explained. “We can actually train now as oppose to doing lighter throws.”

Ultimately, the school would like to add a javelin throwing runway, rubberize the track and install spectator stands. Other enhancements sought are an equipment shed, canteen and timing tower, however, future phases will be dependent on funding.

SChase@postmedia.com