Volunteer opportunity of a lifetime
Aonce-in-a-lifetime volunteering opportunity has come to our region. Five thousand volunteers of all ages are needed for the 2013 Canada Games which are being held in and around Sherbrooke from August 2nd to the 17th.
“Many volunteers have already signed up. When we were bidding for the Games, 26,000 people signed the petition so we knew we had a good base for volunteers. But we will still need some volunteers from outside the region and we hope to get some from other provinces and New England,” said Tom Allen, the president of the Sherbrooke Canada Games Board and Committee. A family from Toronto has already volunteered, planning to participate for their summer vacation. “We’ll have a training program for the volunteers but that won’t start until 2013. It’s not an easy task to get five thousand volunteers but it’s coordinating all the volunteer work that will be the real challenge,” he added.
The Games committee is expecting 12,000 participants, athletes, coaches and medical staff, and about 15,000 visitors for the event so the large team of trained volunteers will be crucial. “We’ll need volunteers for security, VIP transport, health and nutrition, parking, welcoming and translation. There are about twenty different services needing volunteers,” explained the president.
“The Canada Games Mission Staff is mostly made up of Anglophones so it makes the Anglophone and the bilingual commu- nity extremely important for this event. You don’t need to be bilingual to be a volunteer. We’ll analyze people’s strengths and see what they desire to do and then put them in the appropriate place,” commented Mr. Allen.
Those interested in volunteering can fill out a form on the Canada Games Sherbrooke 2013 website. There are six categories of volunteer age groups, going from 14 and under to 65 and older, so they really are looking for people of all ages. There are also three levels of volunteers, depending on how much time the volunteers can commit to the event.
When asked whether all the venues for the Games would be ready in time, Mr. Allen responded: “Everything is right on schedule. It is absolutely not an issue. Every site will have its own site director and sports director.”
“I’m sure it will be a great experience for our region. We encourage everybody and anybody to participate. We’ll be hosting the rest of Canada in August!” concluded Mr. Allen.
Standing behind the colorful mascot of the Sherbrooke Canada Summer Games are (l. to r.) Tom Quinn, president of the Canada Games Council, Tom Allen, president of the Board and Executive Committee of the Sherbrooke Canada Summer Games 2013, Monique F. Leroux, president of the Sherbrooke Canada Summer Games 2013 and the president of Mouvement Desjardins, and Bernard Sevigny, 1st vice-president of the Sherbrooke Canada Games and the mayor of Sherbrooke.