The Heshey’s track and field meet is coming to the Gig Harbor area for the first time.
The youth meet, open to children ages 9-14, will take place June 20 at Roy Anderson Field and is being sponsored by the Gig Harbor Kiwanis Club and Gig Harbor Little League.
“One of the missions of Kiwanis is serving the youth of our area,” said meet organizer and Kiwanis club member Rich Tucker. “Our club said this is really a neat deal; it’s allowing kids of a lower age to compete. They get to middle school and high school and they’re kind of set to go.”
The meet is free to enter, open to all, and will start at 2 p.m. Those who want to enter their children can download a registration form at www.gigharborkiwanis.org, which they should bring to the field at 1 p.m. There will be a parade of athletes at approximately 1:45 p.m. The athletes will be split up into different events by age groups, which are: 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14. The top two athletes from each age group will qualify for the state meet in Vancouver, Washington, the following weekend.
Tucker said the club considered limiting the entrants to Pierce and Kitsap counties, but wanted to leave it open to anyone for the meet’s first year. The club has targeted the Gig Harbor area, passing out flyers at local elementary and middle schools, as well as middle school track meets.
The primary sponsor for the event is the Gig Harbor Kiwanis Club, but Tucker acknowledged the Little League as well, which helped secure the field for use at a discounted rate. Tucker also said someone from the Gig Harbor Kiwanis Club Star Search will sing the national anthem to open the event.
Tucker, a retired Fox Island resident, said he hopes the meet will become an annual event at Roy Anderson Field. He is expecting around 100 to 150 kids to attend the meet this year. The events will vary, but are mostly track focused. There won’t be any hurdles or javelins. The throwing event will be a softball throw, which should serve as a safer option and introduction into field events.
“We’re just excited to bring this Gig Harbor,” Tucker said. “We enjoy it here. There’s just so much athletically that goes on here. It’s really easy to become a fan here of sports and youth and kids.”Jon Manley: 253-358-4151 email@example.com Twitter: @gateway_jon