Star of the North track and field was fun for all ages

We recently held the Star of the North Games here in Rochester. The first weekend we hosted figure skating, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball and weightlifting. The second weekend we hosted basketball, tennis and track and field.

All the events were very successful and made for a big first impression on me but more importantly a great 25th year of the Star of the North Games.

With all of the eight sports we hosted, track and field stood out to me as  unique compared with any sporting event that I have ever worked at. The help from parents, different abilities and ages among athletes, and sportsmanship among all fans and participants were pretty amazing!

We had a crew of close to 20 workers helping to make the day run smoothly. They all did a great job and don’t get enough credit; however, it was one adult who wasn’t scheduled to help that made a huge difference. He wasn’t a paid worker or scheduled volunteer; he was a parent of one of the athletes. This parent took it upon himself to help with the pole vaulting event.

It was our scheduled workers’ first time working with pole vaulting, and the parent helped set up the event and make sure all the standards were set for each athlete. He was a great help and just wanted to help to make the event a success.


The first thing I noticed about the track meet was the different ages of the participants. For example, in the 100-meter dash we had all ages participating. It was unusual to have 16 total heats (8 men’s and 8 women’s) of the 100-meter dash where the age difference varied by 67 years. The first heat of the women had three 6-year-olds and four 7-year-olds. The eighth heat had athletes with the ages of 49 and 54. The youngest men’s heat consisted of ages 6 and 7 as well but the eighth heat had men aging, 65, 66, 69, and 73.

No matter the age of the athletes, they all gave it their all and had a great time doing it.

The best part of the experience, to me, was the sportsmanship from everyone. The athletes wished each other good luck before each race and after the race instead of just walking off the track and going different directions, a lot of them had conversations and made new friends. No matter who was racing, what the ages were, or what place the participant was in, fans were always clapping and cheering for all the athletes.

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