Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Time for Islanders to do their bit for the Games

Time for Islanders to do their bit for the Games
Volunteering for this event is a chance to participate in a truly Canadian celebration

The Guardian

P.E.I.'s minister responsible for sport and recreation is looking for a few good men and women - 6,000 to be exact. Carolyn Bertram says that's how many volunteers are needed to help with next summer's Canada Summer Games on Prince Edward Island.
Every two years Canada's young athletes gather for either the winter or summer games. And in just a little over 12 months from now Islanders will get an opportunity to prove why P.E.I. hospitality is world famous.
A successful Canada Games has three vital components. First off, the games must offer excellent venues for the 18 sporting events that are planned. Secondly, training programs need to be in place to allow our P.E.I. athletes to perform to the best of their abilities.
Last, but certainly not least, is the need to have enough volunteers on hand to run the games. Without an adequate number the Summer Games won't take place, it's as simple as that.
The official launch of the volunteer recruitment campaign for the 2009 Summer Games took place last week, at which time Bertram pointed out the need for P.E.I. volunteers "from coast to coast to coast."
If history is any indication Bertram's call will be heeded. Islanders have a well-deserved reputation of showing up when they are most needed. A good example was the last time Prince Edward Island hosted the Canada Games. That was 1991 and it was the Winter Games.
Advances in technology since then are helping make things easier for people to volunteer. A website has been created to allow people to apply online as volunteers.
By visiting www.2009canadagames.com, Islanders can choose what type of volunteer job they'd like and what sport they would like to be involved with. But it's not just in sports that volunteers are needed, many other talents are needed. Information technology and medical services, for example, are two other areas.
One challenge Summer Games organizers face is finding volunteers from all across Prince Edward Island. The 2009 Canada Games will be the first held provincewide since the Games began in 1967, so that means volunteers will be needed from all across the Island. That can be viewed as a challenge but it can also be viewed as a positive. It means Islanders in areas outside the two major centres of Summerside and Charlottetown will get the opportunity to help make the Games successful and memorable.
In the coming months Summer Games organizers will be travelling across the Island to talk to community groups and organizations about volunteering. The organizers will be offering Islanders an opportunity to get involved in a modern day Canadian institution.
The Canada Games are special in many ways, and not just because they are a showcase for our best young athletes. They also serve as a cultural celebration of all things Canadian.
Who wouldn't want to be involved in that? It's a safe bet that Prince Edward Islanders will step up to the plate as volunteers to show both their pride of this province and love of Canada.

Fun and Games go arm in arm
The Journal Pioneer

The 2009 Canada Games wants you as a new recruit. The organizing committee put out the call last week for volunteers to help pull off the huge two-week sporting event set to take place in P.E.I. next summer.
The committee estimates 6,000 people will be needed to help in a number of areas, from transporting athletes, aiding in areas such as information technology and medical services to helping with the 18 sports at the Games.
And without volunteers the Games likely won’t go ahead.
Admittedly, giving of one’s time with no monetary reward is a huge favour to ask and lining up 6,000 Islanders willing to do just that won’t be an easy feat.
Schedules will have to be changed, vacations booked for that time and lots of planning done in advance for each person who signs up.
But, as has been proven in the past, Islanders always step up to the plate.
Just look at Summerside, for example.
For years the city has played host to national and international sporting events, from softball and baseball championships to sailing and curling competitions.
And each time volunteers were instrumental in each event’s success.
In 1991, countless Islanders, from tip to tip, signed on to help with the winter Canada Games, which, too was held across the Island. The event even drew volunteers from out of province who rearranged their schedules to pitch in.
There’s no doubt from past experience that the organizing committee will have no problem finding 6,000 Islanders eager to help.
And with advances in technology, signing up is easy to do. With the simple click of a mouse, those wishing to help can go to www.canadagames2009.com, sign up and even choose what type of volunteer job they’d like best.
What a great opportunity for Islanders to come together and show their pride in their home and help showcase P.E.I. to the rest of the country.
We may be small in size but we’re big in heart with people always ready to pull together when the need arises.
So, why not give of your time and, as organizers put it, ‘Come Play on Our Team.’

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