Volunteers are the backbone of a community. In the May 19 edition of the Peace Arch News, we published our second annual Our People, Our Peninsula section, in which we profiled 11 individuals whose volunteer efforts help shape White Rock-South Surrey into the strong and vibrant community we call home. Below is the profile of one such volunteer.
Geoff Killam has been an incredible servant to Coastal FC, holding several different roles in the club for the better part of two decades, including head coach, board member, and president, says executive director Chris Murphy. Killam was the driving force behind the fundraising and construction of the BMO Coastal Soccer Centre (in South Surrey Athletic Park), he added. “Geoff is kind, caring, and community focused. He has given thousands of hours of his time to make the sport, club, and community a better place for all.”
Q: How long have you been a volunteer with Coastal FC and in what capacity?
I first volunteered with Peace Arch Soccer Club in 2001 as a coach of my son’s first soccer team. I coached and or managed his teams through to U18 (2014), and also coached my daughters’ teams over the years, at times coaching all three of their teams. In 2010, I joined the Semiahmoo Soccer Club’s board of directors; in 2014, I became president of Coastal FC, and held that position until 2021.
Q: How has volunteering for Coastal FC benefited you as a person?
Coaching has rewarded me in many ways. I found it to be a very rewarding experience to share with my children. I really enjoyed building relationships with my kids’ peers and friends in an environment that they love, and where I was a coach instead of a dad. It is very rewarding when you feel you have had a positive impact in a child’s or youth’s life.
Q: Why is it important to you to volunteer your time?
I think it is important to contribute to our community – just imagine if everyone made a regular effort to give back in one way or another.
Both my parents were committed to serving youth in our community growing up, and I think that model resonated with me. But the intrinsic rewards of the relationships and the impact that we can have are what keep me going.
Q: What advice to you have for people who are thinking about becoming a volunteer for the first time?
Just try it. Many organizations have become quite good at giving you the training you need to be successful in your volunteer role, so don’t be afraid to step up and just do what is needed.
Commit for a season, but if it is not for you, you don’t need to return for another. Quick note though – the vast majority of coaches and team volunteers come back year after year – that says something.