Construction is well underway on the new Discovery Trails School in Morden, and alongside the much needed Kindergarten to Grade 8 school, Western School Division (WSD) has also embarked on adding a running track to the grounds, a project Vice Chair Darcy Wolfe hopes the community will partner on. He notes WSD decided to include a track in the new school building for several important reasons.
"Firstly, our students and the community needed it," he explained. "The current track in Morden, located at the high school, is not the proper length, is not suitable for competition and the limestone surface is not ideal either. This new track will open the doors for local athletes to grow to their full potential. Secondly, the price was right. Surprisingly, the cost was nearly half of what we were quoted just a year earlier, thanks to its integration into a larger construction project centered around Discovery Trails School. The opportunity was too good to pass up, so we decided to invest in our students and our community by building Discovery Track and Field."
The track has been designed to be a full-sized Olympic style running track. It will be 400 meters in length, and have 8 lanes, making it suitable for larger competitions and events. It will have a rubberized surface that will provide some cushion, and be perfect for community members who would like to run or walk on a safer and more comfortable surface.
Wolfe noted they are aiming to raise just over $1 million, and are currently at about $750,000 raised or pledged, and the timing is now right to launch a fundraising campaign to jump the last monetary hurdle.
"The city of Morden helped us by donating some property, allowing us the space to build this project, and by helping us apply for and receive a significant Sports, Arts, and Culture grant from the government of Manitoba," said Wolfe. "Local organizations and businesses have also come through. We have received grants and pledges from Morden Thrift Shop, Wolfe Enterprises, MWM Environmental, Winkler Co-op, Francis Family Homes, Municipality of Stanley, and Enbridge."
Now the community is being given the opportunity to donate, with WSD recently starting to accept donations from the public by building the website discoverytrack.ca and starting a GoFundMe campaign.
"We are working with the Morden Area Foundation, who have generously offered us a $25,000 matching grant that is live until December 15th," noted Wolfe. "People can go to discoverytrack.ca, and follow the links to donate. Credit card donations are accepted, tax receipts are emailed immediately, and best of all, Morden Area Foundation will double your donation if made before December 15th."
The new track may be located at the school, but Wolfe stressed it's important to note it's for all Morden residents, and in fact, the entire region.
"The track will be on school property, but is being built with the whole community in mind," he explained. "Western School Division has a great relationship with our community, and has been opening our schools for different teams and various events for a long time. Many different groups use our gymnasiums, free of charge, after hours. The track will be no different, and its use will be governed by our community use policy."
Building this world class track in Morden will bring many benefits to students, the community and surrounding area. Giving students better opportunities in sports and recreation will not only promote physical health, but mental health as well. Giving kids incentives to be outside is good.
"Discovery Track and Field will help students develop important skills like inclusivity, perseverance, goal setting, and integrity," Wolfe added. "Our local athletes will also have a place to train locally, eliminating the need for parents to drive them to Winnipeg to train on a proper track. Discovery Track and Field will be a great place where our community can come together and build common ground. We are building this project with community in mind, and hope to see young and old, newcomers and Morden natives, coming together to play together and learn about each other. The cushioned surface will make the track perfect for morning or evening walks."
Discovery Track and Field will also bring a host of economic benefits. It will allow Morden to possibly host events such as the Manitoba Summer Games the Manitoba Society of Seniors Games.
"In talking with representatives from Special Olympics Manitoba, they even mentioned the possibility of hosting the provincial Special Olympics games, here," said Wolfe. "The benefits afforded by all these games include increased revenue for tourism, restaurants and hotels, and increased positive exposure for the city. Recreation opportunities are one of the main factors people look for when deciding where to raise their family and build their businesses."
WSD has been blown away with the support it's received so far.
"Our hope is our community sees the many benefits Discovery Track and Field will bring, and rallies behind us to help push us over the finish line," shared Wolfe.
For more information about this exciting project visit discoverytrack.ca. For information not found on the website, contact Darcy Wolfe firstname.lastname@example.org, or Dave Guenther email@example.com.
Again, to donate, visit discoverytrack.ca, and follow the links. It's quick and easy. Credit card donations are accepted, tax receipts are emailed immediately, and best of all, Morden Area Foundation will double your donation if made before December 15th.
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