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School boards seek donations to help fund new track and field facility

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Journal staff

The St. Clair Catholic District School Board (SCCDSB) and Conseil Scolaire Catholique (CSC) are seeking funding assistance for a new, world-class track facility.

“The purpose of the fundraising initiative is to allow for community investment in a physical activity space that will provide athletes and students from across Sarnia-Lambton with a first-rate facility that will allow them to compete at local and provincial levels,” Amy Janssens, associate director and treasurer of the SCCDSB said in a news release. “The track and field will be available to the wider community through Community Use of School bookings and the facility will be fully accessible to persons of all abilities.”

The school boards say they’re requesting grant or donation amounts of up to $1 million for the upgrade track and field facility, to be located at St. Patrick’s High School on the Rapids Parkway.

The SCCDSB says it’s investing $1.07 million to update the existing track, while seeking additional funding to enhance the project.

The CSC Providence is contributing an amount which represents seven percent of the total cost – a calculation based on student enrolment according to an agreement between the two boards.’

“This is an opportunity for our community to come together to support young athletes from across Sarnia-Lambton,” said Carolyn Bastien, interim director of education from CSC Providence. “We are excited to be part of this worthy venture.”

The track and field area is used by St. Patrick’s and St. Francis Xavier High Schools for physical health curricula, while in-field of the track is also used for soccer at the high school level. Elementary students access the space for the annual Lambton Sports Council track and field event in June.

The sports council provides athletic events for elementary schools from SCCDSB as well as CSC Providence and Christian schools in the Sarnia-Lambton area.

“With three elementary schools within close proximity to the proposed track area, the space will be used by these schools as well on a more regular basis, once the upgrade has been completed,” the board added.

Enhancements that rely on additional external grants and donations include:

● An upgraded polyurethane track surface, which provides improved safety, increased performance and better durability. These surfaces produce outstanding shock absorption and are the right balance between soft and hard;

● Upgrading the colour of the track from the base colour to green, which incorporates both the colour of the St. Patrick Catholic High School logo, as well as the colour of the providence’s Franco-Ontarian flag;

● Electrical and wifi services, as well as a finish line camera, speakers and sound system;

● Track and field items such as blocks, hurdles, high jump mats, long jump and triple jump take-off boxes, shot put landing area and new shot put circle, and movable soccer goal posts to support the use of the field during the off-season for track and field;

● Bleachers;

● An artificial turf field, which is more durable than grass and allows broader access and play time to sports all year round; and

● A water Bottle filling station.

The St. Clair District Catholic Education Foundation accepts, tracks and distributes all grants and donations received by the Board, so donors can be assured the funds provided are used for their intended purposes.

“We look forward to a successful community fundraiser in support of this project, which will have lasting benefits for generations of young athletes from across Sarnia-Lambton,” said Janssens.

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