Walking track at Baddeck Academy opens to community

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BADDECK — A modern, new walking track at Baddeck Academy is now officially accessible to the general public to assist a growing trend towards physical activity in the area.

Last year, Stephen MacDonald, from left, Francis Clarke and Michael Cholock with Joneljim Construction work on renovations to the front of Baddeck Academy. Improvements at the school also included a new walking track that is now accessible to the general public.

The track opened earlier this year as part of the large renovation project at the school and compliments an adjacent soccer field.

School officials said both have already been put to good use.

"We are now playing our league soccer games there, but before we were playing in Whycocomagh and practising in Wagmatcook on their ball fields," said Orlynn Somerville, a teacher at Baddeck Academy.

"We had been highly inconvenienced at those times, so now we have this beautiful field and a lovely track."

She said the general public has been accessing the walking track after school hours, while children who attend Baddeck Academy have been using it during lunch and recess breaks.

"It is great that way and everyone is talking about healthy lifestyles and being physically active, so it has been really healthy fit for that."

Vince Forrestall, the co-ordinator of the Victoria County physical activity strategy said the walking track will help the county meet its goals of increased physical activity for residents.

"From our standpoint we help promote it because it is a community use facility especially after hours of school," he said.

"It is in a great location for walking and a beautiful spot. It's just a terrific area for walking."

Forrestall hopes to incorporate walking around the school track with a walking trail now accessible at Alderwood Guest Home.

"Maybe we can tie them both together with some mapping, so that people can have one or have both as an option. It is all positive and just another facility for being active."

The soccer field and the 400 metre walking track that surrounds it has an estimated cost of $500,000 and was part of the recent multi-million renovation of the school by the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.

Somerville said the next step will be the installation of bleachers funded by Victoria County and then a grand opening celebration.

"We are going to name the field, but will keep that secret until the grand opening next fall," she said. "It is someone who had been very involved in soccer and brought soccer to many communities.

it was opened October 1."

For now the walking is accessible to the general public Monday through Friday after 3 p.m.

There's full public access on weekends.

Organizations: Baddeck Academy, Alderwood Guest Home, Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.Somerville

Geographic location: Victoria County, Whycocomagh, Wagmatcook

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