Thursday, July 31, 2008

Transcontinental Media named silver sponsor of 2009 Canada Games

Transcontinental Media named silver sponsor of 2009 Canada Games

The Journal Pioneer

STRATFORD - Transcontinental Media has come aboard as a major sponsor of the 2009 Canada Summer Games on P.E.I.

Wayne Carew, vice-president of the Friends of the Games division, announced the sponsorship during a press conference today at the Canadian Golf Academy in Stratford.

Transcontinental Media is the parent company of the Journal Pioneer in Summerside and the Guardian in Charlottetown.

The silver-level sponsorship has a value of over $200,000. It includes promotion and advertising through those two papers but also a contest through the company’s national magazine division for a group of four to experience the Games. Transcontinental Media will also sponsor the golf competition, which will mark the first time the sport will be featured as part of the Canada Games.

"Transcontinental is committed to playing an active role in the communities in which we operate," said Transcontinental Media president Natalie Larivière, who traveled to the Island for today’s event. "We concentrate our efforts on the vital areas of health, education, culture and community development so the Canada Games is a particularly good fit for our company."

The Games take place across the Island Aug. 15 to 29, 2009.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Awareness of Parkinson's disease aim of tip-to-tip run

Awareness of Parkinson's disease aim of tip-to-tip run

Luke McIver will be running from tip to tip this August to raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease. Submitted photo

The Guardian

KINKORA — Luke McIver will be running Prince Edward Island from tip to tip to raise awareness for a disease that has hit close to home.
McIver is set to make his way across the province between Aug. 14-19 for his grandparents, who have both dealt with Parkinson’s disease over the years.
His grandfather passed away recently, while his grandmother is trying to manage the disease.
McIver, an active runner, wanted to find a way to help raise awareness for the disease, so he decided to put his feet to work.
“I’ve been running a lot . . . I might as well do it for a reason.”
When he told his parents about the idea, they were quick to lend their support. His grandmother is also touched by the idea, he said.
“She’s pretty proud. She’s one of my biggest supporters.”
McIver said if his grandfather were here, he’d also appreciate the effort.
“I think it would be very important for him.”
McIver will start his run in North Cape, travelling to Richmond on his first day. From there, he’ll go to Hunter River on the second day, and to Mount Stewart on the third day.
The fourth leg of his run will end at East Point.
He said sponsors have been supportive of the run and the cause it supports.
“It’s important to know everyone is behind us.”
McIver hasn’t set a goal for the run, although he does have an idea of how much he’d like to raise.
“I want to make as much as possible.”
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system. It often affects a person’s motor skills and speech. There is no cure.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Potato Blossom Run Results

The Journal Pioneer

MILL RIVER — Mike MacKinnon of Miscouche and Jennifer Perry of Tignish won the 10-kilometre event at the P.E.I. Potato Blossom Festival Fun Run here recently.
Morgan Arsenault and Emily Buttrick took the five-kilometre event titles.
MacKinnon edged Scott Clark of Linkletter by one second. MacKinnon’s time was 39 minutes and 21 seconds (39:21) and Clark finished in 39:22. Peter Gaudet finished third in 40:09.
MacKinnon finished second overall in the 11.6-kilometre Dunk River Road Race a week earlier in 40:34. Clark was third in 41:57.
Perry, who was the top female runner in the 2008 Dunk River event in 51:55, had a time of 49:07. Patty Dexter (59:33) and Carol Morgan (58:34) rounded out the top three female finishers.
Arsenault stopped the clock in 20:30. Todd Collicutt (20:31) and Randy Allain (21:16) were second and third.
Buttrick had a time of 23:44, finishing ahead of Kristy Wallace (24:19) and Andrea Buttrick (25:33).
A total of 27 runners — 16 males and 11 females — ran in the 10-kilometre race. There were 25 participants — 15 males and 10 females — in the five-kilometre event.

Alex missed the Potato Blossom Run for the first time since he started racing in 2004, running the Cox & Palmer 10K instead. Here are write-ups on past Potato Blossom Runs:
Potato Blossom Run 2007
Potato Blossom Run 2006
Potato Blossom Run 2005
Potato Blossom Run 2004

Time for Islanders to do their bit for the Games

Time for Islanders to do their bit for the Games
Volunteering for this event is a chance to participate in a truly Canadian celebration

The Guardian

P.E.I.'s minister responsible for sport and recreation is looking for a few good men and women - 6,000 to be exact. Carolyn Bertram says that's how many volunteers are needed to help with next summer's Canada Summer Games on Prince Edward Island.
Every two years Canada's young athletes gather for either the winter or summer games. And in just a little over 12 months from now Islanders will get an opportunity to prove why P.E.I. hospitality is world famous.
A successful Canada Games has three vital components. First off, the games must offer excellent venues for the 18 sporting events that are planned. Secondly, training programs need to be in place to allow our P.E.I. athletes to perform to the best of their abilities.
Last, but certainly not least, is the need to have enough volunteers on hand to run the games. Without an adequate number the Summer Games won't take place, it's as simple as that.
The official launch of the volunteer recruitment campaign for the 2009 Summer Games took place last week, at which time Bertram pointed out the need for P.E.I. volunteers "from coast to coast to coast."
If history is any indication Bertram's call will be heeded. Islanders have a well-deserved reputation of showing up when they are most needed. A good example was the last time Prince Edward Island hosted the Canada Games. That was 1991 and it was the Winter Games.
Advances in technology since then are helping make things easier for people to volunteer. A website has been created to allow people to apply online as volunteers.
By visiting, Islanders can choose what type of volunteer job they'd like and what sport they would like to be involved with. But it's not just in sports that volunteers are needed, many other talents are needed. Information technology and medical services, for example, are two other areas.
One challenge Summer Games organizers face is finding volunteers from all across Prince Edward Island. The 2009 Canada Games will be the first held provincewide since the Games began in 1967, so that means volunteers will be needed from all across the Island. That can be viewed as a challenge but it can also be viewed as a positive. It means Islanders in areas outside the two major centres of Summerside and Charlottetown will get the opportunity to help make the Games successful and memorable.
In the coming months Summer Games organizers will be travelling across the Island to talk to community groups and organizations about volunteering. The organizers will be offering Islanders an opportunity to get involved in a modern day Canadian institution.
The Canada Games are special in many ways, and not just because they are a showcase for our best young athletes. They also serve as a cultural celebration of all things Canadian.
Who wouldn't want to be involved in that? It's a safe bet that Prince Edward Islanders will step up to the plate as volunteers to show both their pride of this province and love of Canada.

Fun and Games go arm in arm
The Journal Pioneer

The 2009 Canada Games wants you as a new recruit. The organizing committee put out the call last week for volunteers to help pull off the huge two-week sporting event set to take place in P.E.I. next summer.
The committee estimates 6,000 people will be needed to help in a number of areas, from transporting athletes, aiding in areas such as information technology and medical services to helping with the 18 sports at the Games.
And without volunteers the Games likely won’t go ahead.
Admittedly, giving of one’s time with no monetary reward is a huge favour to ask and lining up 6,000 Islanders willing to do just that won’t be an easy feat.
Schedules will have to be changed, vacations booked for that time and lots of planning done in advance for each person who signs up.
But, as has been proven in the past, Islanders always step up to the plate.
Just look at Summerside, for example.
For years the city has played host to national and international sporting events, from softball and baseball championships to sailing and curling competitions.
And each time volunteers were instrumental in each event’s success.
In 1991, countless Islanders, from tip to tip, signed on to help with the winter Canada Games, which, too was held across the Island. The event even drew volunteers from out of province who rearranged their schedules to pitch in.
There’s no doubt from past experience that the organizing committee will have no problem finding 6,000 Islanders eager to help.
And with advances in technology, signing up is easy to do. With the simple click of a mouse, those wishing to help can go to, sign up and even choose what type of volunteer job they’d like best.
What a great opportunity for Islanders to come together and show their pride in their home and help showcase P.E.I. to the rest of the country.
We may be small in size but we’re big in heart with people always ready to pull together when the need arises.
So, why not give of your time and, as organizers put it, ‘Come Play on Our Team.’

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cox and Palmer - Top 10 Finish & New Shoes!

It was overcast and 22 degrees and humidex of 30 degrees.

The Cox and Palmer Run at Old Charlottetown and Victoria Park.

The out and back course of 5km and 10km.

The 2nd half of race it start drizzle and passed Derek Underhill within 2km to finish in 43:21 and came in 8th out of 41 runners.

Keaghan Rilling won the race and Rebecca Walker for the top female.

Matt MacDonald won the 5km race and Laura Smith for the top female.

I won the door prize for the last draw was a pair of Mizuno Running Shoes from Sporting Intentions.

My mom bought a new camera for lot of pictures.

Official Result: 8th out of 41
10K in 43 minutes, 21 seconds

Cox & Palmer 2007

More Photos (ours)
More Photos (PEI RoadRunners)

Running For Autism
Not Against It
acceptance not cure

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Canada Games organizers launch drive to recruit 6,000 volunteers
Canada Games organizers launch drive to recruit 6,000 volunteers

The Guardian
Organizers of the 2009 Canada Games are inviting all Islanders to Come Play on Our Team.
Games organizers are looking for 6,000 volunteers for the Islandwide event Aug. 15-29, 2009.
The launch of the volunteer recruitment campaign for the Games took place Monday at the CARI complex at UPEI.
Carolyn Bertram, provincial minister responsible for sport and recreation, spoke at the launch.
“From Tignish to Souris, from Victoria to North Rustico, we need Islanders from coast to coast to coast,” she said. “And I know volunteers will step up to the plate.”
The task of organizing all of those volunteers falls to Myrtle Jenkins-Smith, vice-president of the volunteer services division for the Games.
“It’s going to be a massive job. We’ve been working now for over a year and a half. We’ve recruited our core team and broken it up into areas of responsibility. Underneath that we have many sub-committees.”
The launch was also a chance for the Games organizers to unveil a new website where people can apply to volunteer online.
By visiting, Islanders can choose what type of volunteer job they’d like to do best.
They can help out with any of the 18 sports at the Games, as well as in areas such as information technology and medical services.
At the launch, Bertram demonstrated just how easy the online process is by filling out her own application on a laptop.
The 2009 Canada Games will be the first held provincewide since the Games began in 1967.
Because of the wide geographical area, organizers wanted the volunteer application process to be as easy as possible, said Jenkins-Smith.
“We’re trying to (show people) that there’s many opportunities and they don’t have to just look at something in their backyard.”
Although she admits that recruiting 6,000 people will be a big job, Jenkins-Smith is confident that through face-to-face interaction with Islanders, it will be possible.
The organizers will be travelling across P.E.I. to talk to community groups and organizations about volunteering. They already have 1,000 volunteers signed up, she said.
There is a great spirit of volunteerism on P.E.I., said Joseph Spriet, the president of the 2009 Canada Games, and events such as this one couldn’t exist without that spirit.
“You couldn’t stage these games financially without the 6,000 volunteers. It would be horrendously expensive.”
With all of the options for volunteers, “there’s no question that there’s something for every interest,” he said.
Of the 6,000 volunteers needed, the organizers would like at least 600 to be bilingual.
They will target francophone areas of the province, as well as federal and provincial government employees, to find bilingual volunteers, said Jenkins-Smith.
“We feel like it’s a realistic number. We looked at the areas of responsibility, and where we should have bilingual services throughout the games to make it fair.”

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Personal Best 7.25 Mile Dunk River Run

It was cloudy and no wind and 18 degrees. The 7 miles loop course on Dunk River and hills.

It was three personal bests in the row and I got a ribbon for 3rd in 20-29 age group. I came in 18th out 62 runners and time of 51:14.

Alex Coffin won the race and Jennifer Perry for the top female.

No pictures because mom's camera is broken and she needs a new one. [EDIT: Photo at left thanks to PEI RoadRunners. More here.]

Official Result: 18th out of 62
7.25 Miles (11.667Km) in 51 Minutes, 14 seconds
2007 Dunk River Run
2006 Dunk River Run
2005 Dunk River Run
2004 Dunk River Run

Running For Autism
Not Against It
acceptance not cure

Coffin, Perry win divisions In Dunk River Road Race
The Journal Pioneer

CENTRAL BEDEQUE -- Alex Coffin of Saint John, N.B., was the overall winner of the 31st annual Dunk River Road Race on Saturday morning.

Coffin, 39, stopped the clock in 39 minutes and 22 seconds (39:22). Mike MacKinnon of Miscouche finished second overall in 40:34 and Scott Clark of Linkletter was third in 41:57.

Jennifer Perry, 31, of Tignish was the female winner. She completed the 11.6-kilometre (7.22 miles) course in 51:55, 19th overall.

See complete story in Monday’s Journal Pioneer.
Coffin executes game plan
31st annual dunk river road race Perry top-finishing female

The Journal Pioneer

Alex Coffin executed his game plan to perfection Saturday morning.

Coffin, who last ran and won the 11.6-kilometre (7.22 miles) Callbeck's Home Hardware Dunk River Road Race about 15 years ago, jumped out to an early lead and never looked back en route to winning the 31st annual run in 39 minutes and 22 seconds (39:22).

"I went out really fast," said Coffin, 39, who resides in Saint John, N.B. "I ran this race a long time ago and I wanted to try and get in under 40 minutes."

Tignish resident Jennifer Perry was the top female runner with a time of 51:55.

"I didn't know the route and I was told about a couple of inclines," said the 31-year-old Perry, who finished 19th overall in the 62-runner field. "Overall, I think it was a great challenge and I really enjoyed it."

Mike MacKinnon of Miscouche finished second overall in 40:34 and Scott Clark of Linkletter was third in 41:57.

"I know a lot of the runners here and I thought if I could get a good lead on them then I could concentrate more on getting the time I wanted," explained Coffin.

It was a family affair for Coffin, whose wife, Connie, finished 28th overall in 53:41. She was the fifth-finishing female.

"The big reason I was here was my wife really wanted to do this run and she grew up in St. Nicholas," said Coffin.

Almost a minute

Perry held a 55-second advantage over Pat Ellis, who finished in 52:50, 24th overall. Jennifer Nickerson was the third-finishing female in 53:22, 25th overall.

Perry said she and two other female runners were together for about the first two miles before she moved into the lead around the three-mile mark.

"I don't like to look behind me so I don't know how long we were all together," she said with a smile.

How did Perry find the course?

"The inclines were nice and spaced out," she answered. "I found criss-crossing over the roads was a bit tricky, but other than that it is a pretty good route."

Good conditions

Coffin and Perry both agreed runners were greeted with favourable conditions.

"There was no wind; it was perfect," said Coffin.

Perry added: "Even a little bit of a drizzle would have been nice. It was really nice weather for running."

Course records

Dunk River Road Race course records:
Male: Matt Sheffield of Halifax, 37:42, in 2006.
Female: Janice Ashworth of Halifax, 42:57, in 2005.

Monday, July 14, 2008

From school corridors to the Olympics

From school corridors to the Olympics
Jared Connaughton's track and field achievement
is proof that dreams can indeed come true.

As a student, Jared Connaughton could be seen running up and down corridors in P.E.I. schools. That's hardly an uncommon activity among energetic young people. But what makes Connaughton stand out is that he has run all the way from those narrow corridors to the world stage of the Olympic Games.

Last weekend, the New Haven, P.E.I. resident qualified for the August Games in Beijing, China when he captured the 200-metre race at the Canadian track and field championships in Windsor, Ont.

His achievement is a remarkable one, especially considering he is from a province where track and field facilities are as rare as people who don't like fresh strawberries.

Actually the lack of facilities may have helped forge the young man into the athlete he is today. It forced Connaughton to be creative in his training, hence the need to utilize school corridors, snow-covered portions of Island trails, soccer fields and sand dunes.

That creativity exposed his strong willpower and inner drive to succeed at whatever the personal cost. He was always willing to pay the price, no matter how difficult the circumstances.

After leaving Prince Edward Island, Connaughton enrolled in the University of Texas at Arlington where he excelled on the track team and, much to his delight, was surrounded by excellent training facilities. Since then he has evolved into a top-notch sprinter and last weekend's performance means he is ready for the world stage.

And competing in track and field at the Olympics is indeed the big time. Track is one of the glamour events of the summer Games.

With the Olympics only a few weeks away, the young Islander hasn't had long to rest on his laurels. He is now training in Europe with other Canadian Olympic athletes. In addition to competing in the 200-metre competition, he will run the third leg on the Canadian men's 4x100-metre relay team, always a highlight of the Olympic Games.

The good news for Prince Edward Island is that Connaughton isn't the province's only ambassador. Stratford's Kara Grant was named to the Canadian modern pentathlon team last month and just recently it was announced that Amy Kneebone of Charlottetown and Contessa Scott of Clyde River would be competing at the Beijing Paralympic Games as members of the Canadian goal ball team.

Like those other P.E.I. athletes, Connaughton is an example that dreams can indeed come true, even foolish ones like those of a young boy growing up in a track and field-challenged province like P.E.I. and dreaming of making it to the Olympics.

His dream of earning a berth on the Canadian Olympic team is now over. But those that know Connaughton well will tell you his Olympic dreams involve more than just making it to the event; he has higher goals in mind, such as earning a medal.

All Islanders will be hoping Connaughton's next dream also comes true. In the meantime, he should take a bow.

The sights and sounds of the Canada Games

The sights and sounds of the Canada Games
The construction of the track and field complex at UPEI
is a visible reminder that the 2009 Games will soon be upon us.

Anyone passing the University of Prince Edward Island these days can't help but notice the mountains of red earth and the sounds of major construction. It's the track and field complex slated to host the 2009 Canada Summer Games gradually taking shape - a visible reminder to Islanders that the Games are closer than we think. A year from next month, thousands of athletes and visitors will descend upon the Island.

For years, Islanders have been discussing and planning for this event, but seeing the infrastructure emerge should generate some added excitement. After all, there's more to the Games than just the two-week schedule of competitive events.

Those who remember being involved in the 1991 Canada Winter Games here will recall the momentum that grew in the years and months leading up to those Games. It's like anything else - the more you invest in something, the more you get out of it. The organizers, the athletes and the many volunteers who've been involved so far in staging next summer's Games are no doubt experiencing that momentum already. But for others on the sidelines, the sights and sounds of construction remind them that next summer will be one of a kind. They'll be host to thousands of Canada's best young athletes and have the pleasure of seeing their display of excellence.

The Canada Games are an important showcase of Canadian athleticism. We see not only what individual athletes can accomplish, but what they collectively represent - commitment to the time-honoured ideals of hard work, excellence, self-discipline and self-sacrifice. No matter what our own chosen pursuits in life are, these are qualities we admire.

As the track and field centre takes shape at UPEI, it's a good opportunity for Islanders to enjoy the excitement surrounding the Games. One way to do this is by getting involved as a volunteer. It's been 17 years since a Canada Games was held here. A whole new generation of young people has grown up since then. For these youngsters, this is a first. We say get involved and enjoy.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Canada Games costs double for P.E.I. town

Canada Games costs double for P.E.I. town

The cost of participating in the 2009 Canada Games has taken a big jump for the Town of Stratford.

'It just kept coming back with more and more and more money.'— Coun. Gary Clow

The Games will be a provincewide event. Stratford, just east of Charlottetown, is scheduled to host the baseball events.

But the town had to cut back on its plans when the cost to renovate the local diamond more than doubled.

"There seemed to be a lot of negotiating right up until the last minute to make this work," Coun. Gary Clow, parks and recreation chair, said Wednesday.

"We wanted very strongly to be part of the Canada Games but it just kept coming back with more and more and more money. And there's only so much money in the pot."

The Town of Cornwall had already balked at the $330,000 cost of building a new facility for Canada Games baseball.

Stratford, which needed to upgrade its diamond, was the second choice. The town was initially told its share of the cost to renovate MacNeil Memorial Field would be around $45,000.

Town stretched to the limit

But when the bids came in, the town discovered its share would be more than $100,000. Clow said there was no way the town was prepared to pay that.

It finally settled on a compromise — $80,000 — but that meant cutting back on some features.

"We're stretching the limit to go to even 80 [thousand] with them and not a penny more," said Clow.

"We're going to have Canada Games standard; some of the stuff coming will not be staying. It will be going when it's all over."

There will be no new scoreboard, and the bleachers will be removed at the end of the Games.

Construction began on Wednesday.

Summerside man takes break from Appalachian Trail walk

Summerside man takes break from Appalachian Trail walk
The Journal Pioneer

SUMMERSIDE — Alan MacKenzie hasn’t had to worry about poisonous snakes or black bears these past couple of weeks.
But he’ll be encountering these risks again soon.
MacKenzie, 60, has taken a break from walking the world-famous Appalachian Trail — resting his feet in Summerside while visiting friends and family.
But he’s driving back to resume a remarkable odyssey that will take him through 14 American States by the time he’s done.
“It’s hard to put into words the reason why I’m doing it. The trail is a powerful force that goes to work on you.”
So far, so good.
MacKenzie has seen just one bear during the first third of his journey. He also nearly trod upon a venomous copperhead snake, but managed to move it off the trail with a stick.
MacKenzie is about 300 miles behind his travelling companion and friend, Linus Gillis, 59, who also lives in Summerside.
But he’ll catch up in a hurry when he returns. MacKenzie is driving down to join his friend on the trail.
Doing that will allow him to finish weeks earlier in Maine before cold weather, heavy rains and snow strike in the mountains.
“In October the streams rise so high it’s almost impossible to wade across them.”
It’s a grueling six-month journey and MacKenzie plans to complete every last foot of 2,175 mile odyssey, even if he has to double back and complete the southern stretch he bypassed at a later date.
While in Summerside, he hasn’t stopped walking altogether. Every Saturday morning he and members of a Summerside walking club take 10- to 15-kilometre walks in picturesque locales throughout the Island.

Trail blazers
Two Summerside men embrace the challenge of the Appalachian Trail

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Details announced for Canada Games venues
Canada Games funding unveiled for capital venues

The Guardian

The biggest athletic event in the country is coming to P.E.I. in just over a year, and there’s no better proof of the work being done to prepare than a drive by UPEI.
There are small mountains of dirt on the campus as an earthen bowl is constructed to accommodate a large crowd of spectators to the many sporting events that will be highlighted during the Canada Summer Games when the event comes to P.E.I. in 2009.
Representatives from the Canada Games host society, the City of Charlottetown, the province and the federal government joined UPEI president Wade MacLauchlan and a number of young athletes to thank each partner for their financial contribution to this major event on P.E.I.
“P.E.I. is getting very excited,” said Premier Robert Ghiz during a news conference at UPEI Saturday.
“It is going to be an Island-wide event and it’s going to be a great event for all Islanders — but it’s going to be especially wonderful for our athletes.”
In total, the city, the provincial and federal governments and the university are investing over $7.6 million in funding for Canada Games facilities in the City of Charlottetown.
Saturday’s funding announcement outlined details of the new $6.8-million state-of-the-art athletic complex currently under construction on the UPEI campus.
The complex will host close to 50 track and field events during the second week of the Games. The aquatic complex at the CARI Centre will also receive nearly $300,000 in upgrades, allowing it to host numerous swimming and diving competitions.
But UPEI isn’t the only area in Charlottetown hosting Canada Games events.
Memorial Field and the tennis courts at Victoria Park will undergo major renovations totalling almost $530,000, allowing them to also be used for the event.
Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee expressed praise for the federal and provincial dollars being pooled with university and municipal funding for the many events that will take place in the provincial capital.
“With this announcement, we have been given the opportunity to further demonstrate our strength as a major event-hosting venue and more specifically, you have given us the green light to be host competition in the sports of athletics, diving and swimming, baseball, tennis and volleyball,” Lee said.
Peter MacKay, the federal minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) was scheduled to come to P.E.I. for the joint funding announcement, but couldn’t make it due to airplane difficulties.
ACOA vice-president Pat Dorsey took his place at the official ceremony, announcing the government of Canada’s commitment, through ACOA, to invest $1.9 million in the four Canada Games infrastructure projects in Charlottetown.
“(The games) will showcase the natural beauty and hospitality of this province and attract visitors to P.E.I. that will only benefit our economy,” Dorsey said.
“Today’s investment builds on the government of Canada’s commitment to promoting sport and physical activity among Canadians of all ages and abilities.”
All told there are 32 proposed venues across the province for the 2009 Canada Games. It is the first time the games have ever been hosted by an entire province.
Normally, individual municipalities play host to the major sporting event.
It is anticipated that over 4,400 athletes, coaches and managers will attend.

The athletic complex is under construction on the UPEI campus. The state-of-the-art facility will host 25 track and field events for men and 24 for women during the second week of the games. The complex will feature a synthetic 400-metre, eight-lane oval track, a water jump for steeplechase, a facility for long and triple jumps, pole vault, discus and hammer throw, javelin throw, shot put, warm-up track, storage, washrooms, spectator seating and viewing as well as site and storm drainage and fencing. The total cost of this project is $6,793,322, which will be funded through federal, provincial and municipal contributions.

Charlottetown will play a lead role in 2009 when Prince Edward Island hosts the Canada Summer Games. It is a major shareholder in the CARI Centre which is owned by a not-for-profit corporation — Capital Area Recreation Inc. This $299,400 project will upgrade the technical requirements for both the swimming and diving facilities at the CARI centre. The swimming upgrades include the installation of pushbutton Daktronics, touch pads, lane dividers and covers, and darkened windows to reduce light reflection. The diving aspects of the project include a three-metre diving board, pool lighting, and surface agitation system including electrical components.

The Victoria Park tennis courts are located in the southern section of the 40-acre parkland. The current venue consists of a total of six lighted courts, a tennis clubhouse, parking as well as a nearby canteen service owned and operated by a local service club.
The site has been chosen by the 2009 Games for the tennis competition. The Games requirement includes a total of eight courts in one venue. Rather than try to create a new venue with eight new courts and all the amenities, it was decided to add two additional courts. In keeping with a specific bylaw pertaining to Victoria Park, the council held a public consultation, and as a result, have support to proceed with two courts in a specified area. This venue upgrade will not only enable the city to host the Games but will also enable the tennis community to attract other future national competitions which also require an eight court venue.
The total project cost is $229,000.

Memorial Baseball Field, located in Victoria Park in the heart of Charlottetown, is a premier venue for baseball play in the city. This site has been chosen as a primary venue for hosting Games baseball in 2009.
The facility presently does not meet Games standards in either the dimensions or type of playing surface. A substantial upgrade is required in order to meet Games specifications.
The work includes stripping the topsoil from the infield and replacing the infield material with natural sod material to create a grass infield.
The infield will have a drainage system as well as irrigation.
The overall repositioning and expansion of the field will be moved in a northerly direction so as to avoid tree removal in the adjacent woods.
Lights will be relocated and repositioned. New amenities will include bleachers, a bullpen; fencing and a press box.
The complete scope of work has been endorsed by Games officials to ensure that medal games can be played on these fields.
In addition, the city has already committed to hosting the 2008 National Junior Baseball Championships in August. This event will act as a pre-event trial of the venue for 2009 Games.
The total project cost has been approved for $299,814.

Details announced for Canada Games venues

Further information on how $7.6 million from Ottawa will be spent on athletic facilities in Charlottetown for the 2009 Canada Games was announced Monday.

About 90 per cent of the money, $6.8 million, will go to the new track and field venue currently under construction at UPEI. It will have an eight-lane track with a synthetic surface, permanent seating for 1,400 and additional seating for up to 5,000.

Nearly $300,000 will go to upgrades at the CARI pool, including new touch pads, lane dividers, and darker windows.

More than $500,000 will go to renovations for the tennis courts and a ball field at Victoria Park.

The Games next August are expected to attract 4,400 athletes.

P.E.I.’s newest Olympian gets no time to rest

P.E.I.’s newest Olympian gets no time to rest
Connaughton goes to Europe to train after winning berth in Beijing Games

The Guardian

Jared Connaughton of New Haven had little time to enjoy his Olympic berth.

Immediately after qualifying for the Beijing Games, Connaughton left for Europe Sunday night to begin training with the Canadian men’s 4x100-metre relay team.

Connaughton punched his ticket for Beijing after winning the men’s 200-metre event at the Canadian track and field championships Sunday in Windsor, Ont.

He won the event with a stadium record time of 20.34 seconds.

Connaughton finished fifth in the 100-metre final Saturday at the nationals with a time of 10:34.

Pierre Browne won the event with a 10:19 time.

He will be in Europe with the Canadian relay squad for two weeks before returning to his North American training digs in Arlington, Tex., for a week before jetting to Singapore to train for the Olympics.

The track and field component of the Games begin on Aug. 15.

World championship medallists Tyler Christopher and Gary Reed will lead Canada’s track team at the Beijing Olympics.

The 29-member team was announced Monday following the four-day Canadian championships.

The team’s goal in Beijing is to bring home two medals after being shut out at the 2000 Games in Sydney and the 2004 Games in Athens.

Six athletes — including star hurdler Perdita Felicien — have been granted extensions to qualify for the Olympic team based on previous international accomplishments.

Felicien, a former world indoor and outdoor champion, is still nursing a foot injury.

The six athletes must achieve the required selection criteria by July 22 to be confirmed to the team.

Stratford's Kara Grant was named to the Canadian modern pentathlon team last month.

Amy Kneebone of Charlottetown and Contessa Scott of Clyde River will be competing at the Beijing Paralympic Games as members of the Canadian goalball team.

(Includes information from The Canadian Press)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Connaughton off to Olympics
Connaughton off to Olympics

The Guardian
Jared Connaughton, from New Haven, P.E.I., celebrates as
he crosses the finish line after winning the 200m final at
the Canadian Track and Field Trials in Windsor, Ont. Sunday.
Canadian Press photo

WINDSOR, Ont. — New Haven’s Jared Connaughton walked over and hugged his father, Neil, after realizing the dream of a lifetime.
He’s going to the Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, China.
“I’ve been dreaming of this day for a long, long time,’’ Jared Connaughton told The Guardian in a cellphone interview after winning the gold medal Sunday in the men’s 200m sprint at the Canadian track and field championships and Olympic trials.
“It feels good.’’
Connaughton did it with a personal best 20.34 seconds to beat the B standard he needed and earn his Olympic nomination.
He will almost certainly be named to the relay team when the Olympic teams are formally unveiled today.
Neil Connaughton said he’s never been more proud of his son.
“It’s the most unbelievable feeling you can imagine,’’ said Neil, who was in Windsor to watch his son qualify for Beijing. “Today, Jared solidified himself as one of the greatest 200-metre runners in Canadian history.’’
Souris’ Kurt McCormack finished 10th in the men’s triple jump but did not qualify for the Olympic Games.
Jared Connaughton is the second Islander to qualify for the Beijing Olympic Games. Kara Grant was named to the Canadian modern penthalon team last month.
Jared Connaughton’s performance was historic for other reasons as well.
He broke the track record at the Windsor stadium and established a new benchmark for the Canadian track and field championships.
His goal in Beijing?
“I want to be a finalist. I’m physically and mentally capable . . . I’m ready for that.’’

The Guardian

Jared Connaughton of New Haven, P.E.I., runs in the 200-metre heats at the Canadian track and field trials in Windsor, Ont., Sunday. His result means Connaughton will head to the Olympic Games in Beijing this summer. The Island runner set a new mark for the Canadian track and field trials. Canadian Press photo

Congratulations Jared!
P.E.I. sprinter qualifies for Olympics with record run

Jared Connaughton has landed a spot on Canada's Olympic team for the Games in Beijing in August, despite facing what some would consider serious training challenges as he developed his talent.

'I trained on soccer fields, I trained on gravel tracks, I trained on sand dunes.'— Jared Connaughton

Connaughton won the 200-metre Canadian title at the Olympic qualifying meet in Windsor, Ont., on the weekend with a time of 20.34 seconds, a new Canadian record. The previous record of 20.40 seconds was set in 1986 by Atlee Mahorn.

Connaughton's home of Charlottetown is an unlikely spot for the development of sprinters. There is no real tradition of track and field in the province, and no proper training facilities for athletes interested in the sport.

"I trained on soccer fields, I trained on gravel tracks, I trained on sand dunes. At the time I didn't know any different," Connaughton told CBC News.

"I wanted to run fast and I believed I could be an Olympian one day, and I'm a month away from that."

One of Connaughton's main training tracks was a school hallway, about 150 metres long, at Charlottetown's Holland College. He did have one early advantage. One of his first coaches was Dave (Eli) MacEachern, the Island's only gold-medal Olympian, who won the bobsleigh in 1998.

Connaughton is no longer training on P.E.I. He now works in Texas in some of the best facilities in the world.

Canada's Olympic coach calls him one of the brightest young stars on the team. Sprinting was once a highlight of Canada's Olympic squad, and Connaughton believes this year's team could surprise some people.

"A lot of people say this group of sprinters aren't quite what it used to be, but I think we're out here to prove that wrong," he said.

The official announcement of Canada's Olympic track and field team will be made Monday.