“Rec Perspectives” with Tia Wayling, the recreation services coordinator with the Regional District of Central Kootenay
Thinking back to when hockey and skating season started again back in October, it was difficult to predict how the season was going to unfold. With the ever-increasing restrictions, there was a lot asked of skaters and staff to ensure provincial orders were being followed.
But through all of this, it’s important to remember that none of it could have been done without volunteers. Despite trying circumstances, it was the volunteers that stepped up and invested extra hours of their time to ensure our youth (and adults) could play their sports.
The Creston Valley Minor Hockey Association and Creston Valley Skating Club are run entirely by volunteers. Navigating the changing restrictions took an amazing amount of coordination, communication, and program re-development to ensure our youth could remain active. That level of volunteerism and spirit should be commended. They came to the table with incredible amounts of passion and enthusiasm and worked well with Creston and District Community Complex (CDCC) staff even as restrictions made it more difficult. We thank you for your dedication.
The Creston Valley Thundercats also experienced a disappointing season with very few games played. They faced the same struggles and frustrations, but had trouble finding volunteers to help out. Bill, Mark and Kelly were great to work with and adapted to changes quickly. Our hope is that next season will be better, even if it’s just dealing with fewer changes.
All across Canada, the volunteer load is not shared equally amongst the population. In fact, it’s usually the same small percentage that does the majority of the volunteering. There’s no doubt that we will see the same with our volunteers in Creston as we transition into spring with baseball and soccer.
Understandably, there will be a level of volunteer fatigue and loss of momentum and there is a need to step up and help share the volunteer load to keep these, and other non-profit groups, alive. This pandemic has been hard on all of us, but it would be even more upsetting to have groups go under because they didn’t have enough help.
Yes, this time is hard for everyone and it might not look the same, but we cannot lose the benefit these non-profit groups bring to our valley. Now is the time to be creative and innovative to ensure our residents feel like they are a part of something. We need these social outlets to remain active and keep members engaged so we resume activities once we can gather again.
While we have no promises on what our gathering numbers will be like as we move ahead, take some time and reach out to some of these volunteer-driven groups to help out. One quick email is all it takes to let them know you’re ready to give back to the community. This is also a shout-out to these groups to ask for help on a public level. Sometimes, people just aren’t aware you need help until you ask.