We are proud to be coached by Tatjana and Besnik Mece.


Tatjana and Besnik Mece have University Degrees in Physical Education and Sports. 

Athletics Carrier: 

Tatjana was 5 years in row the Albanian National Champion in High Jump and relay 4X100m, one year in Pentathlon. 

Besnik was Albanian National Champion in 3000m Steeplechase. 

National Team Members:

Tatjana represented Albanian National Track and Field Team in 1975,1977,1980 in Balkan and European Championships. 

Besnik represented Albanian National Track and Field Team in 1971,1973,1975. 

Tatjana and Besnik have been 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 Experiences: 

Tatjana worked for 6 years and Besnik 8 years as a physical education teacher and track and field coaches at the best profiled track and field schools in Tirana, Albania. 

Before coming to Canada, Tatjana was 10 years a Physical Education teacher at University of Tirana at the Medicine and Science Faculties. 

Besnik was the General Secretary of Albanian Athletics Federation and Chair of the Department of Athletics Gymnastic, Swimming and Chess at Albanian Olympic Committee and post university lecturer for the athletics coach’s qualifications. 

From 1994, Besnik was the Director of the Human Recourse and Organization in 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. 

Tatjana and Besnik together have 109 years in athletics with 88 years in coaching, 50 of them in BC. 

Achievements in Canada: 

Mece Team produced 35 Canadian Champion Titles, 17 National Team presentations, 7 of them at the World Championships. 

In 2017, the Mece’s program had three athletes ranked top 6th at IAAF World List for Youth and Junior. 

Athletes trained under Mece’s program currently hold 9 Canadian Records. 

Qualifications in Canada 

Tatjana and Besnik have completed level 2 certificate in sprint hurdles and middle long distance and level three Technical in middle and long distance. 

Program Builders: 

Mece’s Team is the Founder of New Westminster Track and Field Junior Development Program. 

Royal City Junior Development Program. (The first JD program in New Westminster) 

New West Spartans Track and Field Club. 

Reborn of the Vancouver Olympic Club program. 

Douglas College Running program. 

Co-Founder of the Harry Jerome Outreach Program, Jerome Talent Search and Guardian Athletics Society; training more than 10,000 kids 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 as the 2003 NAIA Regional Cross Country Meet in Jericho Beach in Vancouver and other cross country competitions and  also co-technical meet director for UBC hosted competitions for many years including many VOC Elementary Track Meet and Vancouver Track and Field Championship that they started. 

Facility Contributions: 

Initiated the Mercer Stadium resurfaced. 

Part of the Point Grey Track fundraising. 


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. 

Besnik was “2019 Canadian Development Coach of the Year” and the winner of “Jane and Gerry Swan Award”. 

Both Tatjana and Besnik are awarded with the Certificate of the Recognition from New Westminster City Park and Rec. for their contributions in athletics. 


Tatjana and Besnik are recognized and promoted for their contributions in track and field in Canada with two TV Reports, at CTV and CBC in 2011. 

In 2020 and 2022, the Albanian Radio Television have presented two TV reports for Tatjana’s and Besnik’s contributions in Albania and in Canadian Athletics. 

Our high calibre coaches Besnik and Tatjana have been training junior development athletes since starting the JD program with the Royal City Track and Field Club (RCTF) in 2000. Their success continued with RCTF until February 2007, when many of the athletes and volunteer parents who had been involved in RCTF decided that they wanted to work with the Meces in a new direction, and the New West Spartans club was born.

Coach: Gurchet Kandola

Gordie is one of the pioneers of coaching Junior Development Program in New Westminster.  He is the Junior Development Coordinator, fitness and jumps coach.  Gordie enjoys training with the kids and helping and watching them grow over the years.

Honorary President, Life Member and Masters Head: Don Benson

A former Mr. Sport and both soccer and lacrosse Coach of the Year, New Westminster’s Don Benson is a founder of both the Royal City Track & Field Club (1996) and the New West Spartans Track & Field Club (2007) and Honorary President of the latter for life.

A person with varied interests, Don is Canada’s first Poet Laureate Emeritus, the author of three books and an accomplished Masters Pentathlete in the 75-79 age division. In 2007 he was awarded the British Columbia Community Achievement Award by the Lieutenant Governor for outstanding contributions to athletics and the written arts.

In 2008 at the Canadian Masters Championships held at Regina, Don made history by winning the bronze medal in the Outdoor Pentathlon (200m, 1500m, long jump, discus, javelin) and winning the gold medal in the Throws Pentathlon (javelin, discus, shot put, hammer, weight throw) completing the total of ten events in a mere six hours as the schedules for the two very different Pentathlons overlapped.

Don Benson was selected by VANOC to be the final New Westminster torch runner and to light the 2010 Winter Olympics cauldron at Queens Park before 10,000 cheering citizens.

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