With five weeks to go until the BC Seniors Games roll into Langley, one of the biggest hurdles will be finding all the volunteers needed.
About 1,500 volunteers are needed, and more would always be helpful. Right now, the local organizers can rely on 750, putting them halfway to their goal.
Spearheading the drive for the volunteers is Johanne Caron, who like almost everyone else involved in planning the running the games, is a volunteer herself.
A retired Coast Capital employee, she had previously worked on the credit unionâ€™s annual charity golf tournament.
She also had experience with helping out with the BC Summer Games in Surrey in 2012.
Thanks to her experience, a friend who is a director with the Seniors Games asked her if she could help out.
Itâ€™s been an interesting job for Caron.
â€œThough we have a lot of senior volunteers, itâ€™s not all seniors,â€ Caron noted.
Students are another big source of volunteers, especially but not exclusively high school students who need to gain some volunteer experience for their coursework.
The Seniors Games are reaching out through everything from Rotary Club meetings to booths at public events like May Day to find more people to help out.
Caron said there are a host of areas where volunteers can contribute, including:
â€¢ At the 25 sports with setting up and managing the events during the actual competitions
â€¢ At the opening ceremonies.
â€¢ At the banquets
â€¢ As medical volunteers providing first aid
â€¢ As hosts
â€¢ As security
â€¢ At concessions
â€¢ At accreditation
Some volunteers will be needed in the days leading up to the games, others only for the game days.
Jobs range from some manual labour outdoors to helping out with administrative tasks inside.
â€œEven if you can only volunteer for four hours, weâ€™ll find something,â€ said Caron.
Many volunteer shifts will be four or eight hours long.
As a volunteer herself, Caron knows that itâ€™s worthwhile.
â€œIt is rewarding, definitely,â€ she said. â€œYou get to help people, and itâ€™s an accomplishment.â€
To sign up as a volunteer or for more information, call the games office at 604-533-8065, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers can sign up online or by phone or fax.
You can also contact Caron directly at 604-880-4841.
The games run from Sept. 9-13.