By Justin Seward
The Medicine Hat Panthers Track Club has been around since 2004 and places a focus on participation and striving for excellence in track and field.
Participants come from the surrounding rural areas of Medicine Hat and from within the city.
“Again, we’re growing the program,” said Darryl Smith, the Panthers cross country and indoor coach.
Smith says they’re not only growing kids, but growing coaches.
“We’ve given them opportunities,” he said.
“We did a seminar, where we had 15 coaches there. We brought in a person from Athletics Alberta to do a seminar. Right now, a person that does our bookings, she sends information about online weight training stuff.”
The Panthers are also taking advantage of Badlands Fitness and doing weekly workouts.
The Track Club likes to build from the grassroots up.
“How do we get them to enjoy it, get good at it and then they love it” said Smith.
“ … The idea is to give them the opportunity and then look at the kid’s skill set and build competitiveness in some of the drills. Sometimes kids are not as competitive. So how can we work with those kids. You’ve got some kids in super competitive (and) how can we teach them that training versus competing. So the idea is again, one grass roots and then as you get older, start to give them opportunities to excel — but give them a breath, give them a whiff of opportunity.”
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