We are proud to be coached by Tatjana and Besnik Mece, who bring a wealth of experience to their roles.
Education and training
Tatjana and Besnik have University Degrees in Physical Education and Sports. In Canada, both coaches have completed level 2 certificates in sprint hurdles and middle long distance and level three technical in middle and long distance.
Personal athletics and national team experience
For 5 consecutive years, Tatjana was the Albanian National Champion in High Jump and Relay 4X100m, with 1 year in Pentathlon. She represented Albanian National Track and Field Team in 1975,1977,1980 in Balkan and European Championships.
Besnik was the Albanian National Champion in 3000m Steeplechase. He represented Albanian National Track and Field Team in 1971,1973,1975.
Tatjana and Besnik were part of Albanian National Olympic team at 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada and Albanian National Athletics Team at 2016 World Indoor Athletics Championship in Portland Oregon, USA.
Work experience (Albania)
Before coming to Canada, Tatjana worked for 6 years and Besnik 8 years as Physical Education teachers and Track and Field coaches at the best profiled track and field schools in Tirana, Albania. Tatjana also spent 10 years as Physical Education teacher at University of Tirana in the Medicine and Science Faculties.
Besnik was the General Secretary of Albanian Athletics Federation and Chair of the Albanian Olympic Committee’s Department of Athletics, Gymnastic, Swimming and Chess. He was also a post-university lecturer for the athletics coach’s qualifications.
In 1994, Besnik was the Director of the Human Recourse and Organization in the Albanian Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport and the Albanian Athletics National Team in many international track and field competitions, including the Grand Prix Meets.
Together, Tatjana and Besnik have more than 100 years of experience in athletics with 88 years in coaching, 50 of them in BC.
The Mece Team has produced 35 Canadian Champion Titles and 17 National Team presentations, 7 of them at the World Championships.
In 2017, the Mece’s program had three athletes ranked in the top 6th at the IAAF World List for Youth and Junior.
Athletes trained under Mece’s program currently hold 9 Canadian Records.
Program builders and facility contributions
The Mece Team is the founder of New Westminster’s Track and Field Junior Development (JD) programs. They began with the development of the Royal City JD program and then went on to start the New West Spartans Track & Field Club. They were integral in initiating the resurfacing of the Mercer Stadium track, benefitting the community’s many athletes who use the facility.
They have also led the rebirth of the Vancouver Olympic Club program and the establishment of the Douglas College running program. Together, Tatjana and Besnik co-founded the Harry Jerome Outreach Program and Jerome Talent Search and Guardian Athletics Society, training more than 10,000 youth in elementary and high school athletics programs in Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster.
Over the years, Tatjana and Besnik contributed with extended time in co-organizing and co-managing varsity events in Track and Field and Cross Country at UBC including the 2003 NAIA Regional Cross Country Meet in Jericho Beach in Vancouver and other Cross Country competitions. They have also acted as co-technical meet director for UBC hosted competitions for many years including many VOC Elementary Track Meets and Vancouver Track and Field Championship that they started. They have also been involved in fundraising efforts and activities across their careers, notably supporting efforts to raise funds for a new Point Grey track.
Awards and recognitions
Tatjana was the BC Award Winner for Excellence in Coaching for Junior Development in 2007 and the BC Award Winner for Excellence in Coaching for the senior category in 2013.
Besnik was the BC Award Winner for Excellence in Coaching for Junior Development in 2010 and the BC Award Winner for Excellence in Coaching for the U16 and U18 group in 2019. He was also recognized as the “2019 Canadian Development Coach of the Year” and the winner of “Jane and Gerry Swan Award”.
Both Tatjana and Besnik have been awarded with a Certificate of the Recognition from New Westminster City Park and Recreation for their contributions in athletics.
Together, they have been recognized and promoted for their contributions to Track and Field in the media both in Canada (CTV and CBC in 2011) and in Albania (2020 and 2022 on Albanian Radio Television).