Stettler resident Ethel Williams cut the ribbon to mark the refurbishment of the Stettler Community Recreation Track on Sept. 20th. Williams had gifted a donation towards the resurfacing to celebrate her 99th birthday this year. Mark Weber/Stettler Independent

Community gathers to celebrate refurbishment of the Stettler Community Recreation Track

The track is a legacy project from the 1991 Alberta Summer Games

Local students, dignitaries and residents gathered on Sept. 20th to mark the refurbishment of the Stettler Community Recreation Track – a legacy project from the 1991 Alberta Summer Games.

“It’s an amazing day,” said Malcolm Fischer, Town council representative and ceremonies chairman for the 1991 Games.

“Travel back in time with me to the 1980s – that’s about 30 years ago.” It was then that a proposal was fashioned for Stettler to host the 1991 Alberta Summer Games, he said.

Fischer said there was some skepticism about the town hosting the event, mainly stemming from the big city media.

“There was much at stake, and they said over and over that we couldn’t do it.”

Of course, the community of Stettler proved the naysayers wrong, and the community track was a key part of that successful event.

“They didn’t know about the kinds of folks they were dealing with here in Stettler and all of the surrounding communities. We pulled together and became one big community and we successfully hosted the biggest sporting event ever seen here,” he said. “We did it with style, hard work and meticulous organization. And it was one of the most successful summer games ever held,” he added.

Fischer noted that the track has served, as mentioned, as a terrific legacy from the Summer Games.

“A legacy is not something you use and throw away. It’s intended for the enjoyment of generations to come. So while our beloved track outlasted all predictions, it was indeed showing its age.

“What you see before you today is the result of a lot of lot of work, tough decision-making and most of all commitment to this legacy, and commitment to our community’s future. I’m very proud to be part of this endeavour, and part of the 1991 Alberta Summer Games.

“We leave it now in your hands to use with pride and care, and to sustain it for yet more generations to come,” he said.

Due to the pre-refurbishment condition of the track, the rubberized material had deteriorated significantly and was unlikely to withstand another year.

Thankfully, funding for the project came from a number of local community groups, businesses and private donations.

Mayor Sean Nolls said that that the track is what could be called, “A really true community project. As Greg was listing off everyone who was involved in 1991 and those who were involved today, this project wouldn’t have happened if the entire community hadn’t come together.

“This is an awesome facility, and it’s going to be an awesome facility for years to come,” he said. “I’d like to thank everybody that was involved in 1991, and currently to get this beautiful track done. Again, it wouldn’t have happened without a true community (effort) with it, so everyone should be proud of this for years to come.

“We can pass by this everyday and say, ‘That’s what my community is and that’s what we do. Thank you everybody.”

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