Nelson Elementary School put the final outstanding banner in an already full trophy case.
The South Burnaby school won its first-ever Burnaby schools’ cross-country team trophy, following the district championship meet at Burnaby Lake on Oct. 15.
“I haven’t seen our name on the trophy before. It’s not something we’ve done before,” said Nelson teacher and co-coach Clayton Grant. “It’s a big deal.”
Lani Glover had a school-best individual bronze medal in the Grade 6 girls’ race.
Nelson boys also won the Grade 6 plaque and tied with Cascades Elementary for the Grade 5 banner.
But it was a high number of runners finishing in the top 20 from the 60-member school team that won the day for Nelson. Even a couple of Grade 3 runners took part.
“The students were buzzing with excitement when they heard about the win, lots of smiles, cheers and high fives. It was a great way to kick start the year in athletics for our school,” said teacher and co-coach Kinder Mann.
Nelson, which has a tradition of active participation in all elementary school activities, has won championship titles in all the other competitive elementary school sports, including netball.
“We’ve won boys’ and girls’ volleyball. We’ve won lots of relays at Legion meets and in basketball. It’s a fun time. We do it all here,” said Grant, who is the unofficial historian for the 101-year-old school.
“It’s just one of those things – (the kids believe) ‘We can do it’ – and we’re not the biggest school,” Grant added.
In fact, the population at Nelson is only around 300 students, but getting more than a third of the kids to participate in track and field is commonplace, said Grant, who is currently coaching a volleyball team at Nelson that drew 40 kids to take part.
“It’s all part of the fun,” Grant added. “But the kids get that history part and everybody gets to participate. We’ve done it all now.”
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