With the city’s largest sporting event of the year less than six months away, the organizers of the Maple Ridge 2020 BC Summer Games spread out across town last Saturday (Jan 25) to get the word out to its residents.
Grocery shoppers might have noticed excited people in blue jackets at one of four Save-On Foods locations in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows encouraging them to get involved with the games.
The organizers are looking for up to 2,800 volunteers to ensure all the events run smoothly, so an all-hands-on-deck approach was used in their kick-off event.
Kim Dumore, director of participant and volunteer services for the games said they were able to sign up just shy of 200 volunteers during the community awareness project.
“People were super stoked to hear that the games were coming to town and really wanted to help out as much as they can,” she said, “So I think it’s about building the buzz and moving things along and getting people jazzed-up between now and the games.”
Although, they are still quite short of their volunteer goal, Dumore said the organizers are pleased with the start.
“We just want to build the numbers,” she said, “I think that building the momentum is amazing.”
The organizers are now working on a recruitment strategy as part of their marketing plan.
“There’s going to be lots of shoulder tapping and asking everyone to get involved,” Dumore said of their grass roots approach, adding they are hoping people will sign up on their own accord but need to keep popping up at local events to make sure they are front of mind.
“We’re coming to the pool opening on the 23rd of February and we’ll be at the farmer’s market, the Hometown Heroes event and various different pop-up opportunities,” she said.
Dumore wanted to stress volunteering for the games is not a one-size-fits-all situation.
“We’re working to let people know that they don’t have to commit to the full period of time. They can commit to a small period; a day here or a day there. The minimum expectation is a four hour shift, so anything above that is a bonus [for us].”
She also pointed out people of all ages and abilities are welcome to volunteer, adding, doing so can be very rewarding.
“It feels good to give and especially since we’re having this amazing event in Maple Ridge. It’s going to draw tons of people to our community and we want to show it off in an amazing light.”
Anyone interested in volunteering can register online at bcsummergames.ca.