The sound of upbeat Caribbean music could be heard from across the field, despite the thudding rain and a large waterproof tarp covering the speakers.
The air was sticky and warm, and the race track was pooling with water. However, the enthusiastic participants – some of whom were competing in bare feet – were happy to continue.
Donning bright orange t-shirts, a group of UFV students were also in high spirits at this weekend’s Sir Reginald Samuel Track and Field Classic in Antigua.
For two days, the students were volunteering as the secondary officials. They helped organize the races, assist with the timers and measurements, and acted as an overall support system for the organizers.
The track meet provided a great experience for the UFV students, said kinesiology instructor Joanna Sheppard.
“When the students become physical education specialists or teachers back home, they’ll most likely experience running a track and field meet,” said Sheppard. “So this is a great way for them to see what it takes to run an event – and how helpful they can be by simply being prepared.”
The UFV kinesiology students are in Antigua as part of a project titled Champions for Health Promoting Schools, run by Sheppard. The goal is teaching life skills through physical and health education.
From April 27 to May 26, they will be teaching in classrooms across the island. They’ll also be working with students outdoors, doing sporting activities that will incorporate important life skills with each lesson.