May 16, 2014:
Students from nine PWSD junior high schools in Grande Prairie and the surrounding rural area are registered to participate in this annual event honouring Dave Bleile, a former teacher who spent the bulk of his career at Helen E. Taylor School in Wembley. Schools included in the event are Bezanson School, Clairmont Community School, Elmworth School, Harry Balfour School, Helen E. Taylor School, Hythe Regional School, LaGlace School, Penson School and Sexsmith Secondary School. Last year’s event saw 330 students participate in the competition, and this year’s event is expected to see the same number.
Darren Robertson, a teacher at Hythe Regional School, has been in charge of the Dave Bleile Track Meet for the past 4 years, but has been involved with the event for a total of 8 years.
“This is the last major athletic event of the school year for junior high students. It is a great way to end the athletic year as you get all of the student athletes from the Division together to compete,” says Mr. Robertson.
Students compete in age groups and results are compiled to identify winners in small school and large school categories. This creates the potential for up to six schools to win plaques at the event.
“There is a lot of school pride shown in the competition as schools compete against one another for plaques which are awarded to the top schools overall in each category,” adds Mr. Robertson.
Dave Bleile became involved with organizing the County of Grande Prairie Track and Field Meet more than 30 years ago. The event became known as the PWSD Track and Field Meet in 1995 with the amalgamations of school divisions which led to the creation of Peace Wapiti Public School Division. Following Mr. Bleile’s retirement in 2010, his colleagues – many of whom were former participants in this event – moved to have the meet named in his honour. Mr. Bleile has continued to volunteer with the event throughout the years since his retirement.
About the Annual Dave Bleile Track Meet, hosted by Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWSD)
When: 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 20, 2014. The awards ceremony is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
Where: Legion Field, 11313 105 Street, Grande Prairie
Photo caption: Junior Boys 800-metre competition at the 2013 Dave Bleile Track and Field Meet, Legion Field, Grande Prairie.