In 1962, Arvids Zakis and other sports minded immigrants from the Baltic countries founded the Latvian Track & Field Club (LTFC) and converted Arvids' property in Stouffville into their sports field. Besides the throwing events they also included the jumps in their competitions. The LTFC was the predecessor of the Throwers Club.
In 1988 due to natural attrition, membership declined and Arvids and Alex Upmalis suggested that a throwing club be established. The first meeting was held in spring 1988 and the members voted Max Woerle as President with Alex Upmalis, Evalds Viskers and Peder Nielsen elected as executives. Meets were to be held monthly from the spring to fall with athletes competing in weight (throws) pentathlon, triathlon or in individual events.
For the first 3 years trophies were provided by Arvids and Max to be awarded at the end of the season. Eric Malmstrom donated beautiful trophies in 2001 and 2002. Max designed and made the Challenge Trophy which is awarded to the highest accumulated points per season. The Challenge Trophy from the Latvian Club is awarded to the athlete with the highest points in weight (throws) pentathlon in any one meet in the season.
On May 29, 1999 the Ontario Masters Weight Pentathlon Championships were held at Arvids' facilities for the first time and have been held there a number of times since. In the spring of 2001 Max designed the logo for Throwers Club T-shirts.
In October 2002, Max decided to retire from leadership and Rudy Boghina and Bill Pearson agreed to manage the Club. Unfortunately in 2006 health issues caused Rudy to step aside. In October 2007, the operations of the Throwers Club were more formalized with the first members meeting held and a Club bylaw passed. An annual meeting is held each year with directors and officers elected every two years. Currently Bill Pearson is Director & President, Rhona Trott, Director & Vice President, Barb Dabrowski, Director & Treasurer, Kristen Dajia, Director & Enrico Toscano, Director.
September 15, 2012 marked the end of an era with the final meet held at Stouffville bringing to an end a remarkable 50 years of masters competitions. Arvids Zakis passed away at the age of 91 on September 11, 2012. He threw for a remarkable 75 consecutive years up to the age of 90. This also would be the last meet for Garry Bachman, our most decorated member of the Club, who passed away suddenly on December 12, 2012 at the age of 91. Earlier in the same year on March 12, Rudy Boghina passed away at the far too young age of 62. 2012 was the end of an era in more ways than one.
In 2013 the Throwers Club relocated to the Toronto Track and Field Centre (TTFC) at York University to start a new era. With the excitement of the Pan American Games in 2015 and the new stadium built as well as upgrading existing facilities, the Throwers Club will be where the action is but its rich history and roots in Stouffville will always be remembered.
Join us on Facebook and keep up to date with all the news