The indoor track facility located around Thompson Arena is extremely outdated and in need of repairs – trust me, I'm a varsity track athlete. Here are five reasons it's about time something is done about it.
1. Other athletic facilities at Western have been upgraded recently, including renovations to the football field, a new swimming pool and the addition of two new artificial turfs for the rugby, soccer and lacrosse teams. It's time that updates at the very least be made to the indoor track too.
2. The indoor track is located around a hockey rink. This makes the track area much colder than other track facilities and leads to interference from hockey players walking to and from the dressing room. Many universities such as York, Guelph and McGill have an indoor track facility that is solely used for track and field. Other facilities, such as Windsor's, are located around a basketball court, which does not cause nearly as much trouble as a hockey rink.
3. The quality of the track surface is of major concern. It is in awful shape and hasn't been resurfaced in over 20 years. It appears to be falling apart and has had to undergo many repairs.
4. With diminishing entries at the annual Don Wright track meet hosted at Thompson Arena, a new track facility could bring more teams to this meet. Last year only Waterloo, McMaster and Laurier sent athletes. A new facility could also lead to opportunities to host the Ontario University Athletics and Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships, which are being hosted by Windsor and York respectively this season.
5. The track and field team has been one of the most successful teams at Western over the last 15 years. The women won the CIS championship in 2002 and the men won in 2012. The athletes who have worked so hard to win these titles deserve a better training facility.
It is embarrassing that the Western Mustangs have such a lacklustre indoor track facility and it would make sense for more efforts to be made to resurface the track or to construct a new indoor track facility.