All-island relay a success

  • Jun. 1, 2009 12:00 p.m.

Submitted article–For the second year in a row, island youth got together and ran from Sandspit to Old Massett in the spirit of island unity. This all-island adventure included youth from Morely, Alberta who were on island as part of a YMCA youth exchange between QC Secondary School and Morely Community School. On May 15, teens from QCSS headed for Sandspit where they arrived at the airport to start the relay. Vehicles leap-frogged the runners along the road for the first leg. Barb Sparrow escorted Kathleen Hans as kids peddled her in a custom bike to the ferry landing, where the group from Morely met up to join in on the fun. That night everyone ate lasagna prepared by exchange parents above Meegan’s in Charlotte, with a community scavenger hunt to end the evening’s activities. Saturday May 16 saw the relay head out from QCSS with the Skidegate Health Centre shuttle, QCSS van and three king cabs full of kids ready to run from Queen Charlotte past Skidegate, Miller Creek, through Tlell, and on to Port. Again this year, the runners had to battle through rain and strong winds as they made their way up coast. Group photos were taken at the Heritage Centre, Balance Rock, and Rising Tide Bakery, where a delicious pizza lunch was enjoyed. The weather settled down as they passed the Tlell River and headed on to Port.That night, kids were bused down from Masset to join the party, thanks to the Old Massett Village Council’s youth workers Vanna Collinson and Charleen Lawrence. Everyone danced the night away to music pumped out by local DJ Canadian Bacon.Sunday May 17 started in Port Clements with fresh legs from Masset as two youth who ran last year’s relay headed out from Port to Old Massett. The weather was much better and a solid routine had been established from the previous day, which allowed the runners to cover ground fast. Horns honked as the convoy passed each other as runners set out from one vehicle to the next. A hearty deer stew lunch was prepared to keep everyone strong. The energy was high as the relay made its way to Masset where Harbour Day was happening. The final leg saw everyone run to the totem pole by the church in Old Massett. The group made its way out to North Beach, where they camped out over night at the CHN cabin.From start to finish, the relay took three days and built on a sense of collective unity. In total, 27 islands youth participated, 11 off-island kids and four chaperones from Morely, along with seven local chaperones and seven vehicles made up this years relay team. Completing this by oneself would be almost impossible, but together anything is possible. Island pride/island wide.