It takes an awful lot of a lot of things to stage the Surrey 2012 B.C. Summer Games, including about 3,500 portable mattresses for participants to sleep on, and the task of storing and deploying them to host schools all over the city is no cushy job.
Fortunately for Games organizers, Surrey schools has generously offered its schools to house participants along with key members of its facilities staff to help make preparations. In addition, several of the school district’s teachers, retirees and staff have signed up to volunteer for any number of tasks related to setting up and supervising sleeping quarters for some 2,800 athletes and over 900 coaches and officials from every corner of the province.
Panorama Ridge Secondary principal Kevin DeBoice is director of accommodations for the 2012 Games and the school district’s representative to the board of directors. He is one of 15 volunteer directors selected in late 2010 by a mayor’s committee to stage the Games, which run July 19-22.
Among other things, DeBoice’s volunteer team is responsible for the onerous task of moving the mattresses – in exactly the right numbers – to each of the 14 participating schools. Director of Facilities Lance Nordling and Manager of Service Operations Jim Connolly are also volunteering in chair positions and will play key roles in ensuring the schools are ready to host the athletes, coaches and officials.
The mattresses, which are the property of the B.C. Games Society, currently occupy over 6,000 square feet of space in a Surrey schools warehouse, where they were shipped after being used in February at the Vernon 2012 B.C. Winter Games.
“The mattresses travel from Games to Games, and so one of the first challenges is finding a place to store them all,” says DeBoice. “Our district took on this task because we felt it would be easier to store and deliver them ourselves and thereby ease the stress on the board of directors and the city to find space. The next thing we need to do is finalize the plan to distribute them and get the trucks and volunteers in place to pull it off. This is where our facilities staff members are experts. Ultimately, their knowledge of the district and willingness to help the volunteers will be paramount for success.”
To that end, DeBoice explains that Manager of Transportation and Central Stores, Ken Cutting, and Assistant Manager of Service Operations, Madelaine Mahoney, will represent the Surrey School District and provide hands-on leadership with the tasks ahead. With exactly 50 days to go before the opening ceremony, DeBoice says that school-based volunteers are signing up on a regular basis, but the hunt is on for more.
“We’ve had good volunteer support from teachers and staff, which I think says two things. First, it says that the people of our district take great pride in their schools, and second it says that they understand the historical importance of the B.C. Summer Games. But with just 50 days to go, we still need more people to sign up to help out. At the end of the day, both the City of Surrey and the Surrey School District are determined to make these Games the best experience possible for British Columbia’s athletes.”
The Surrey schools that will be hosting participants are Clayton Heights, Elgin Park, Enver Creek, Fleetwood Park, Frank Hurt, Gilford Park, HT Thrift, Kwantlen Park, Lord Tweedsmuir, Ecole Martha Currie, Ecole Panorama Ridge, Semiahmoo, Sullivan Heights and Tamanawis. In addition, Lord Tweedsmuir will be a competition venue for basketball and Semiahmoo for volleyball.
“Without the support of school districts in host communities, we wouldn’t have the B.C. Summer or B.C. Winter Games, it’s really that simple,” says Kelly Mann, president and CEO of the B.C. Games Society. “Schools are essential partners because they provide competition and accommodation venues free of charge allowing the participants a safe and secure environment to have an outstanding Games experience.”
Anyone interested in volunteering for the Games can register on-line by going to 2012bcsummergames.ca/volunteers/.
The Surrey 2012 B.C. Summer Games will be held July 19- 22 and will attract as many as 2,800 athletes aged 11-18 from across the province to take part in 20 sporting events at 15 venues throughout the city. A total of 3,500 local volunteers will be required to stage the Games, which are expected to have an economic impact of approximately $2.5 million in direct spending by games participants, spectators, volunteers and organizers.
Learn more at 2012bcsummergames.ca