The Harwood Youth Track and Field Camp concluded its inaugural season with an impressive showing at the Vermont Hershey Track Meet Qualifier

"It was a great first season," said John Kerrigan, coach of the South Duxbury Ducks. Kerrigan, longtime coach at Harwood Union High School, put this camp idea together in mid-June. "I was hoping to give other local kids the same opportunities in youth track and field that my own two kids had when they were children."

"We had 11 children from ages 8 to 12 participate. We attended local youth track and field meets and the Green Mountain Mile in Waterbury. The camp concluded with the Hershey qualifier. Young athletes learned skills in throwing, jumping and running. Each session started with a 25-minute run. The run was followed by a skills session in the events of the day (hurdles, mini javelin, long jump, etc.). The sessions usually ended with a running game and a wade in the brook."

"This was more than just a camp. It was a social experience for all. One of the nice things about the event was that it brought a variety of local families together. We had a summer family from Spain, home-schooled children, Crossett Brook students and many from Fayston Elementary School," said Kerrigan.

Parents remarked about the noticeable cardiovascular improvement of their children. Sometimes parents jumped in the activities with their children. "It was obvious that these children had parents that promoted healthy lifestyles," said Kerrigan. Several of the parents participated in group mountain bike rides organized by Doug Boyden during the kids' training session.

"These were special kids. While exercising alongside of them I overheard them discussing their hobbies and talking about the books they have read. It was a refreshing change from the MTV generation of the high school students," said the veteran Harwood teacher. "I was glad to give the young students and their families this opportunity to experience youth Track and Field and to get to know each other," said Kerrigan.  

Coach Kerrigan plans to make this camp an annual event. It will run from approximately June 25 to July 9 in 2011. Next year Kerrigan will be expanding to include students up to age 14. To get on the mailing list for the 2011 Highlander Track and Field Camp contact John Kerrigan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).