SUMMERSIDE – The Nike High School Grand Prix track and field invitational meet is much more than just sports.
© Submitted photo
The Three Oaks Axemen pose for a team photo at the Nike High School Grand Prix track and field invitational meet in Toronto, Ont., recently.
The Three Oaks Axemen found out it is just as much a cultural event for the 26 teams from across Canada.
“It was neat to see the provinces and territories mingle,” said Axemen coach Jim Donovan. “It was like when we left Charlottetown (Airport) we became P.E.I.”
The Axemen shared a residence at the University of Toronto with the Nova Scotia and Yukon boys.
“It was neat to see,” added Donovan. “The P.E.I. and Yukon boys had a lot in common.”
Three Oaks runner Ryan Merrett said it “was interesting to meet people” from different places and backgrounds.
“Obviously, the Yukon had to travel to a few time zones just to get there, and it was interesting to meet them,” continued Merrett. “We got to do a lot of things, go out in the city and interact with people.”
Axemen team member and Grade 11 student Nick Meade said all athletes showed “mutual respect for each other” during the competition.
“It was neat to see the provinces and territories mingle. It was like when we left Charlottetown (Airport) we became P.E.I.” Axemen coach Jim Donovan
“You appreciate what you do and what everybody else does,” added Meade, 16.
One interesting part of the meet was how the teams were formed for the relay races.
“The team relay sticks out in my mind because it was fun to watch runners from four different provinces team up,” said Donovan.
Along with the one-day track meet, the Axemen toured Toronto, including a visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame, and took in a Toronto Blue Jays’ game.
The Blue Jays’ game is one event that really stood out for Donovan. He explained: “When you have 260 or so athletes all wearing the same T-shirts in one section in the upper stands, prairies and provinces all together, it stands out. You were no longer representing your province, you were representing your country.”