OFSAA cross-country championships coming to Petawawa

Community News

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2016

The 2017 Ontario Federation of School’s Athletic Association (OFSAA) Cross-Country Running Championships will be held at the Petawawa Golf Club (All Ranks Service Club).

One of three major North American cross-country competitions, it is rivalled only by races in New York and California. “It is a huge endeavour,” said Co-Convener Rick Schroeder. “It’s kind of the Olympics of high school.”

Valour SK-12 School, Fellowes High School, Centre scolaire catholique Jeanne-Lajoie and Madawaska Valley District High School put in a bid to host the event in April. They were successful, and granted the opportunity to demonstrate their organizational skills. “We’ve hosted three EOSSAA (eastern Ontario secondary school athletic association) championships here and that’s probably what they are looking at, and so many county championships, ” Schroeder. “I think they know that our expertise is going to be fine.”

Athletes will have to travel from all over the province to attend and the races will be split into seven categories: midget girls and midget boys in Grade 9, junior girls and junior boys in Grade 10, senior girls and senior boys in Grade 11-12, and a para-race.

According to Schroeder, it will be “awe inspiring” for the community to host such a large, prestigious event. The two-day event will draw up to 5,000 athletes, coaches, supporters and spectators. These runners will descend on the town during the first week of November. A pre-OFSAA race will be held at the beginning of October, which will see about 2,000 arrive in Petawawa.

Despite the challenges of organizing such a massive event, he feels confident that everything will be ready in time, considering the fact that Garrison Petawawa is providing a lot of support.

As this is the largest cross-country championships to be held in Petawawa, it requires a lot of logistical planning, and organizers are looking for volunteers to help out. If anybody in the community is willing to volunteer, or contribute financially, please contact Gary Serviss at servissg@rcdsb.on.ca or 613-687-2121 extension 318.