Finding Inspiration in Every Turn
In the early 1960's, the Parks and Recreation Department of Richmond approached Dr. Doug and Diane Clement 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. 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.
"Kajaks" was derived from Haida word Tse Awwk for Eagle. In transfer, it was moved to Kwa Aak, then to Kay aks, hence the current name Kajaks Track and Field Club.
Original logo designed by Eric Bates in early 1960's.
Re-designed logo by Teresa Nightingale in early 1990's.
By 1968, Kajaks had its first athlete in the Olympics in Mexico City. While Anne Covell did not win a medal, 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.
To date, we have over 55 Olympians, two from the most recent Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Camryn Rogers who placed 5th in women's Hammer throw and Evan Dunfee who won bronze in the 50km Racewalk.
Kajaks club members have continued to win many regional, provincial, national, international, and Olympic level track and field competitions. By all accounts, Kajaks is one of the most successful track clubs in Canada.