JULINA BENJAMIN

When did you join NTFC? What other favourite sports or activities do you regularly partake in? 

I joined NTFC during the spring season of grade 10 and have loved it ever since! I was a national level gymnast and love the sport of gymnastics but in grade 9 I decided to take a leap of faith into track & field. It has definitely been one of the best choices I have made. I have met so many amazing athletes across the province and here in Nanaimo, learned new skills, and have tried various events.

Which event(s) did you compete in? What were some of your goals/targets going into the outdoor season before it was scrapped? 

Long Jump: my season’s goal was to get a new PB, even if it was 1cm

400mH: my goal for this deadly event was to train a little more in my school’s middle distance group to build some more endurance and to just compete more than twice in one season.

Pole Vault: This is the event where I was hoping to improve the most. I have been training so hard with my fellow vaulters - even training at the gymnastics club to improve our strength, flexibility and special awareness. My big goal was to vault at least 3.20m. 200m/100m: I’ve competed in this event but mostly just for fun. I didn’t really have a goal this year, but I guess I would have just liked to get out there and do the best I could.

Is there an event that you secretly wish you had tried and why? 

One event that I secretly wish I had tried is triple jump because it seems like a good challenge that doesn't have as much of a learning curve like, let’s say, high jump.

Which annual track meet did you most look forward to? Recall a highlight. 

The annual track meet I always looked forward to was the BC High School Championships because I am there representing my school while being surrounded by my club teammates. This meet is always such an exciting time - chaotic, exciting and the athletes are the best of the best. Every year all the Nanaimo schools come together as a family and we really learn a lot about everyone. I am definitely going to miss this meet in the future, but am glad I got to experience it.

Rank and briefly describe your top 3 track memories. 

1. Getting into the 3.00 meter club in pole vault at BCHS 2019. It was so exciting and I was beyond happy with myself!

2. Meeting the various people who I am now happy to call my friends.

3. Team travels with the Club and School. These are the most fun when we are all in the same vehicle, listening to music together and singing at the top of our lungs.

Name a coach, athlete or mentor that had an impact on your track career so far. What would you like to say to them? 

Wanda!!  In short, thank you Wanda for being such a great role model for me and I’m sure others in the Club.

What are your plans next fall? 

I will be attending VIU in the fall and the science program while majoring in Biology. I am very excited to start this new chapter in my life, even though part of the first semester will quite possibly be done online.

How do you see yourself involved in track and field in the future? 

Well, because I am staying in Nanaimo for the next couple of years, I would love to be a part of NTFC. My track career is not quite finished yet and I am excited for what’s to come. I need to make up for this year’s season!!

How about some words of wisdom for up and coming young track + field athletes? 

If you are planning or thinking of joining track & field, DO IT! You will not regret it. The hard workouts are so rewarding. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have joined NTFC. You will come in excited and leave with a whole lot of amazing memories and a family who loves and supports you.