By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
Chris Farrell became the athletic director for Plainville Schools two years ago, after working as a teacher since 2005.
His role encompasses many tasks, as he is in charge of all athletics for the high school and middle school. This entails the interviewing and hiring of coaches, evaluating those coaches once hired, ensuring that each sporting event is properly staffed, creating the competition schedules, planning sporting events, and securing buses for away games.
Now, Farrell is hoping to reinstate the indoor track and field program to the already extensive roster of athletic activities offered to Plainville students. He explained that indoor track was cut from the athletic roster in the early 2000s. But, there were still students interested in participating.
Farrell said that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference offers something called a “team of one” where a student can train with and be transported by another school to competitions, but compete wearing their home team’s uniform.
For indoor track, teams of one can have three student athletes. Currently, three Plainville students compete in indoor track as a team of one with Bristol Eastern High School. But, this doesn’t accommodate the many other students that want to be a part of the indoor track program.
“We’ve had a lot of interest,” said Farrell. “Student athletes really want to bring indoor track back, and the numbers are there.” Farrell said that last year, there were over one hundred boys and girls involved in the outdoor track program, and over forty participated in cross country.
He presented his plan at the most recent Board of Education meeting, and said that he was able to rework his current budget because he would only nee funds for transporting athletes to and from events, and the possible addition of coaches. Plainville already has the rest of the needed equipment.
“Trying to get indoor track back is something that will help athletics across the board,” said Farrell. “It will help sports teams that compete in the fall, as they [student athletes] can continue on and do a physical activity, and similarly, if they do a sport in the spring, this will help them to get better for their athletic team.”
Indoor track would join the roster of winter sports, including boys swimming, wrestling, and boys and girls basketball. Sports offered in the fall are football, boys and girls soccer, cross country, and girls swimming. For the spring season, Plainville offers outdoor track, baseball, softball, boys and girls tennis, and boys and girls golf.
Farrell explained that the sports offered during the winter typically have smaller roster sizes, due in part to the level of skill required to be competitive in swimming, wrestling, and basketball. But indoor track would add a wide array of activities for students to choose from.
“Whether it be a throwing event, a jumping event, a sprinting event or long distance running,” said Farrell. “Athletically and physically, it obviously has huge benefits, but also, getting our students involved in activities outside of school is what we’re really trying to look for.”
Farrell asks that interested student athletes and parents attend the next BOE meeting on Monday, Feb. 12, to show their support for the indoor track program.