By Ben Lypka, Abbotsford News
Thousands of young athletes from all across the province are coming to Abbotsford for next year’s BC Summer Games and if event president Steve Carlton has his way, there will be an equal number of volunteers.
The clock is ticking for the 2016 BC Summer Games, and Carlton said the community is already buzzing with anticipation.
“We’re about 10 months out and have good progress to date,” he said. “The roll-out of the mechanics of the Games is underway. It’s really exciting to see each of the directorates come together and learn their responsibilities. It’s exciting times for the Games.”
Carlton said organizing committees and directorates are ready to go and now the big push is to secure volunteers to help the event run smoothly.
“We’ve had a lot of encouragement from the public and it’s early on, but we’ve had a lot of response,” he said. “We’ve learned that a lot of volunteer sign-up happens in the last three or four months but people in the community are excited and we’re generally looking for anyone and everyone.”
The Games needs volunteers for everything from the opening ceremonies, to meal preparation to marshalling. Carlton said it’s going to be an undertaking, but he thinks Abbotsford can pull it off.
“This is going to be such a fantastic community event and Abbotsford has such a long history of volunteerism,” he said. “It’s going to be one more jewel in Abbotsford’s crown.”
Upcoming events for the Games include a key volunteer rally at Highstreet Mall on Nov. 5 and then a community awareness event at a location to be determined on Jan. 23. A torch lighting ceremony occurs in April and during the Games a mobile torch unit will be set up in front of city hall.
But without volunteers the event will not be as successful as it could be, said Carlton.
“The community has been really responsive and supportive so far but we need to get people to that volunteer website,” he said. “You can get signed up there or contact us for more information.”
Carlton said one of the goals is to build a lasting legacy in Abbotsford from the Games.
“It’s all about building community and engaging kids in healthy activities,” he said.
Visit bcgames.org for more information on the event and for details on how to volunteer. The BC Summer Games runs from July 21 to 24 at various venues across Abbotsford.