Coachless in Prince George

Cheyann Newman, a Correlieu athlete, took home 9 medals at the Spruce Capital Track Meet despite being hampered by the teacher's job action.

Cheyann Newman got gold in javelin at the Prince George Track and Field meet last week.

The countdown is on for the B.C. Summer Games and many kids are suffering from a lack of coaching due to the teacher’s union’s job action.

Despite the handicap, Cheyann Newman, a local Correlieu athlete, was able to take home medals from all nine events she competed in for the Spruce Capital Track Meet, and B.C. Summer Games try out, in Prince George last weekend.

To qualify to represent Zone 8 in July at the BC Summer Games, competitors had to place either first or second in an event.

Newman participated in a total of 9 events. She managed five personal bests and ended up qualifying in all 9 events. She took gold in the hammer throw, javelin and 80m hurdles and silver in 100m, 200m, 200m hurdles, long jump, triple jump and discus.

However, an athlete can only compete in three events at the BC Summer Games so she chose discus, hammer throw and javelin because she has shin splints which will hamper practicing for the running events.

In an effort to keep herself in shape, Newman has been training by herself, as Correlieu does not have a track and field team due to the job action. This has made training more difficult for Cheyann.

“It’s harder (to train) because I don’t know what I’m doing wrong and there’s no one there to tell me,” Newman said.

With a history in track and field Newman goes back in time, to last summer, to get her coaching.

“I just kept trying to remember all the little things Mrs. Marsh had previously told me to concentrate on,” she said.

To compliment the coaching she remembers, Cheyann plans to attend sessions with a throwing coach in  Prince George, in order to be ready for the games.

Though the coaching will be a bit of a hassle, Newman isn’t discouraged. She has big plans for the games.

“My goals are to beat my personal bests in all my events and maybe make it into the top ten,” she said.

Despite this, Newman misses the camaraderie of running with a large team that she had in the past. She is looking forward to having a team again next year.

“I am looking forward to having a large strong track team from Correlieu, it makes it a lot more fun with a large group and a great coach.”

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