Run, jump or throw, Kajaks are excelling

By Don Fennell

Published 2:56 PDT, Fri November 1, 2019

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

A tradition of excellence continues to run through the Richmond Kajaks.

Nearly 60 years after the local track and field club was formed by Olympians Doug and Diane Clement, the torch has been passed to a new generation. And the junior development athletes are standing tall.

With the culmination of the 2019 competitive season, five Kajaks were singled out by BC Athletics to receive a JD Award, the highest honour given to a junior development athlete in the province.

Recognizing athletes meeting or surpassing hard-to-achieve standards, Monty Mair, Zachary Kennedy, Lawrence Man, Charlotte Bosma and Ryan Nickerson were described as the “best of the best” in their age groups at the recent BC Awards banquet. They were among 57 athletes from across the province recognized for the achievements.

“I didn't really know what to expect, but I was happy with how much I improved throughout the year,” says Kennedy, 13, who shone over 2,000 metres. “It’s nice to see how much better I've become after only one season with Kajaks, and the competition helped me get better. I am looking forward to running track at the high school level this year and am hoping to race at the provincial championships and keep on improving.”  

Nickerson, who excelled in multiple events (notably 60 metres, high jump and long jump), was surprised to achieve standards in each event (8.58 seconds, 1.40 metres and 4.30 metres).

“I had been working hard towards achieving a standard in jumps since I started competing as a Kajak in 2017,” he says. “My next goal is to achieve the BC Athletics standard in a run, jump and throw in the same year.”

Stellar in a pair of throws events—shot put and discus, Man says he doesn’t have set goals for the next “but I want to keep on training to improve my throws throughout the year. I’m hoping to repeat the same results.”

Reflecting her bright future as high jumper, Bosma says “I was really happy to receive this award, especially because I love high jump. I hope to continue to get better in high jump and hurdles.”

Fellow high jumper Mair says, “I was really happy to get the award.  My next goal is to be at the top again in high school and jump at least 1.70 metres.”

Following the exemplary Athletics Canada Long Term Athlete Development Pathway, with the aim of creating a fun and safe environment for club members, the Kajaks is a non-profit community-based athletics club offering programs for both competitive and non-competitive athletes of all ages.

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