Bella Hall of Port Alberni winds up to throw the hammer during a practice session at Bob Dailey Stadium in Port Alberni. (PHOTO COURTESY DARREN WILLIS)

Bella Hall of Port Alberni winds up to throw the hammer during a practice session at Bob Dailey Stadium in Port Alberni. (PHOTO COURTESY DARREN WILLIS)

Port Alberni to host Olympic-level hammer throw competition

Port Alberni’s Bella Hall competing

Some of the top athletes in the country will be in Port Alberni next month for a high performance track and field competition.

Three high performance throwing events will be taking place on Vancouver Island in May, and Port Alberni will be one of the host cities on May 15. The other events will take place in Duncan (May 12) and Nanaimo (May 16).

Port Alberni will be hosting around 12 to 15 hammer throwers from around the province. Hammer throw is one of four throwing events in track and field competitions. The hammer consists of a metal ball attached by steel wire to a grip.

Although provincial travel and competition is currently restricted due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, high performance athletes are exempt from these restrictions.

“These are athletes that hope to reach the Olympic standard,” explained Darren Willis, the head coach and director for the Alberni Valley Track Club. “Everybody is nationally ranked. It should be a really interesting event.”

One of the competitors will be Port Alberni’s own Bella Hall, who is ranked No. 1 in Canada in the U18 women’s group. Hall is currently 17 years old and in Grade 11 at Alberni District Secondary School. She has been involved in track and field since she was 10 years old, but she latched onto hammer throw as an event when she was in Grade 8. In that year—despite starting the season with a broken arm—she won first place in hammer throw in the BC Summer Games, high school provincials and BC Athletics championships.

READ MORE: Port Alberni track and field athletes excel at BC championships

“She just feeds on it,” said Willis. “She loves the event.”

Hall says her goal during the upcoming High Performance Throwing Series is to finally throw farther than 60 metres. Her current record is 59.38 metres.

Willis says the City of Port Alberni and Willa Thorpe—the city’s parks, recreation and heritage manager—have been “instrumental” in helping to prepare the venue for the event. The hammer cage at Bob Dailey Stadium has been undergoing some construction, and city staff has been re-working the landing area to make sure it’s flat and legal for the event.

“We have one of the best cages here on Vancouver Island,” Willis explained.

Although most competitions at the Alberni Valley Track Club have been halted due to COVID-19, athletes are still training and practicing at Bob Dailey Stadium.

“We’re lucky because our sport is individual and outdoors,” explained Jessica Hall—Bella Hall’s mother and president of the Alberni Valley Track Club. “Still, we have fewer kids and there are quite a few guidelines to follow.”

More information about the Alberni Valley Track Club and how to get involved can be found on their Facebook page.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

PORT ALBERNITrack and field

Just Posted

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of two shot by police in critical condition says Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

Condemned building of the Twin Gables Motel in Crofton is not safe and yet a teen has been climbing around on the roof while others were ripping the siding off the building. (Photo submitted)
Destructive behaviour by teens wreaking havoc on Crofton

Residents becoming fed up with the constant vandalism and fires

A fire destroyed a commercial building on Idlemore Road early Tuesday. The fire is under investigation. (Kenn Mount photo)
Early morning fire destroys new Sooke distillery

Firefighters still investigating cause of Island Shiners Distillery blaze early Tuesday

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham promotes the government’s BuyBC food program in 2019. (B.C. government)
Money running out for fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in B.C. schools

‘Looking at ways to support this type of program,’ minister says

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Experts now predict 33.6% rise in B.C. home sales for 2021

BCREA economists also predict home prices to increase by 14.3%

A boat caught on fire this morning (May 11) in Port Hardy. (Adam Harding/Port Hardy Fire Rescue Facebook photo)
Fishing boat catches fire in Port Hardy, owner’s quick thinking puts out flames

The incident is a good reminder to always have a working fire extinguisher onboard your boat

Most Read