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2014 Alberta Summer Games committee needs your help

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 03, 2014 02:38 pm

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The 2014 Alberta Summer Games in Airdrie are less than a month away and organizers say they still need between 500 and 1,000 volunteers.

“Right now we’re sitting at about 1,200 to 1,300 (volunteers) but I’m shooting for about 2,000,” said Tim Elliott, volunteer director for the Games. “It’s not critical but we’re getting close.”

He said it is hard to determine exactly how many volunteers the Games will need, because if a volunteer takes on two, four-hour shifts they are eliminating the need for another volunteer to take the second shift. However, he added it’s important organizers don’t over-work the volunteers they have because it wouldn’t be fair to those volunteers and may cause some to rethink giving their time in the future.

“We want them to enjoy it,” Elliott said. “I do this because I want to help out my community and that’s why these people help out. If we burn them out, they won’t want to help their community out again.”

He said the three key areas they need volunteers for right now are accommodation, security and food services.

Elliott said volunteers in accommodation will help take care of participants when they are resting at the schools and centres that have been transformed into overnight areas for athletes.

Security volunteers will help prevent theft and inappropriate behaviour, Elliot said.

“We’re not looking for policemen, we’re looking for people that will be around just to keep people safe,” Elliott said.

Food services volunteers will make sure participants have access to food during their time in Airdrie.

“Some (food service volunteers) will require food training but we can arrange that and they don’t have to do it ahead of time,” he said.

He added criminal record checks will be done for volunteers working in close proximity to participants.

“We don’t anticipate any problems,” he said of the criminal checks.

If the Games don’t get support for an additional 500 to 1,000 volunteers, Elliott said the games will still go on but some plans may have to be altered.

“It depends on where we fall short and by how many,” he said. “We may have to beg people to do more shifts than they already want to. We may need to do more shifts ourselves. We may not be able to do all the things we planned.”

He said he has faith Airdronians will come through because in past events he’s noticed a trend that volunteers come together at the last minute.

Elliott, who is a volunteer with the Games, said the reason he gives his time is because he loves the experience.

“The people you get to meet are just great. Who knows, these may be the next Olympians,” he said.

“The reason I (volunteer) is because of the people and the experience.”

He added volunteering also allows you to meet new friends who are volunteering beside you, build team spirit in groups that volunteer together and create a friendly rivalry between organizations who compete to get the most staff members to volunteer.

“What you need to do is find out what you love to do and see if you can come out and do that for us,” Elliott said.

He added if you love a certain sport, why not volunteer and get a chance to see that sport and be a part of bringing it to Airdrie. “They also get a chance to get a front row seat for free for many events,” he added.

To volunteer or for more information on the 2014 Alberta Summer Games, visit www.2014airdriegames.ca

“I have faith people will come through,” Elliott said.


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