Thousands of volunteers will be needed to make the BC Summer Games a success when they arrive in Maple Ridge in 2020.
A Board of Directors has been selected, but they are only part of what is needed to help the Games run smoothly.
There are 14 areas within the Games and each has its own volunteer director.
Those areas: accommodation; access control; administration; ceremonies and special events; food services; friends of the Games; logistics; marketing; medical services; participant and volunteer services; protocol; sport; technology; and transportation.
And within those directorates are about 70 chairpersons, five in each category.
Then there are the front-line volunteers.
“I used to work on the theory that for every athlete in the Games, you have a volunteer. We’re looking at 2.5 thousand athletes, give or take, and I would hesitate to guess we’re looking at that many volunteers, as well,” said Games president Mike Keenan.
One of the biggest areas where volunteers will be needed is the food services category. Volunteers will be needed to prepare food for the athletes, package food and deliver it.
Another big area is medical services. There are two chairs of this directorate, Dr. Brett Wee and Bryson Chow, who will be coordinating everything from on-site available services for injured athletes, physiotherapy and all the medical requirements that come with running a sporting event.
Volunteer registration will open January 2020.
Keenan said that organizers don’t want people to sign up too early because the gap between then and when the Games arrive will be too long.
“People sign up and get all excited,” said Keenan.
“People might even forget that they registered. We want to get them registered as we start moving closer towards the Games so we can just continue to build on that momentum,” he added.
However, Keenan noted, being a volunteer has a wonderful social aspect to it. He likes that it gets people out in the community and doing things with other people from Maple Ridge.
And, he added, most people feel good about the fact that they’ve made that contribution to the success of the Games and achieved a feeling of satisfaction from giving back to the community.