What is Kajaks Tracks and Field Club?
The Richmond Kajaks Track and Field Club is both a recreational and high performance level club with over 200 members, ranging from elementary school athletes to masters (35 years old and up) athletes. The club is based at the Clement Track in Minoru Park, Richmond.
Since 1974, the club has had specialized divisions in different track disciplines (distance, sprints, jumps, throws), giving athletes the opportunity to train under some of the best coaching available.
The Sport of Track and Field is built on traditions and standards of sportsmanship, dignity and discipline, and functions as an inclusive, supportive, tight-knit community. The athletes and coaches of the Richmond Kajaks Track and Field Club follow this tradition by volunteering a considerable amount of their time to outside coaching, athletic clinics, and seminars. In addition, the club maintains its positive community relations by hosting and organizing several cross-country, track and road races throughout the year.
Kajaks is a leading Track & Field Club committed to developing track & field athletes in pursuit of achieving their greatest potential, without limits to their age or ability. The club will maintain a high community profile and demonstrate the highest principles of integrity and fair play in the sport of track and field.
In the early 1960’s, the Parks and Recreation Department of Richmond approached Doug and Dianne Clement and asked if they would be interested in starting up a track and field club based at Minoru park in Richmond. The city of Richmond would build the facilities (track and change rooms) in exchange for the coaching expertise of the two former Olympians. The opportunity was too good to pass up, and hence, in the fall of 1961, the Richmond Kajaks Track and Field Club was formed.
Back then there was not much to the club, just a handful of elementary and high school kids recruited by Doug and Dianne who had dreams of one day representing Canada at the Olympics. The athletes first trained on the grassy overgrown remnants of an old horse racing track until the first cinder track was completed in the spring of 1963.
Slowly but surely the club began to gather momentum and membership, and by 1968, Kajaks had their first athlete in the Olympics. While Anne Covell did not win a medal in Mexico, she set a new Canadian record in the 400 metres and helped establish the Richmond Kajaks Track and Field Club as a force to be reckoned with.