Lots done, but still lots yet to do
By Rhonda Cooper
It may still be seven months away, but the 2012 Saskatchewan Summer Games has been front and centre for the committee who were appointed as the next host community. for all the committee and board members and volunteers who have already dedicated numerous hours preparing for the event.
Games manager Roberta Patterson is one cog in the Summer Games wheel.
“I am amazed at how many people with full time jobs who are sitting on committees and all the time they have already given,” she said. “It’s really amazing. They are great people and it is a really great team to work with.”
There are 13 games committees, one for each venue, working as well as a 24-member board who meet monthly. On top of those, the Friends of the Games have been successfully recruiting sponsors for the event.
“Ninety-nine per cent of the businesses that have been approached have come on board,” beamed Patterson. “The others have said maybe at a later time.”
Each of the committees are well on track with their individual time lines.
The speed at which construction of the various venues has taken place is, according to Patterson, mind-boggling.
“The work that has been done, is amazing,” she said. “The time, the effort, expertise people have given to get those in place is outstanding.”
All but one of the venue signs have been erected. The canoe/kayak event which will take place at Loon Lake has not yet been placed as the committee is hoping to put it along the highway and permission from the Department of Highways is required.
Equipment and supply lists have been completed and work on sourcing the various items has started. The sport schedules are being developed and the entertainment for the opening and closing ceremonies have been secured. Visits to area schools have taken place with more to come.
“We went to the schools where there were students who would be eligible for qualifying for the games,” said Patterson. “We also visited other communities so they would be aware of the event and they may want to plan their summer holiday so they can attend or even volunteer.”
Volunteers are signing up, but Patterson noted there have been more verbal commitments than formally registered.
“People don’t have to be a sports expert to volunteer. I think there is a perception that you have to be. We need people in all aspects of the Games. They could be part of the shuttle crew for VIPs, provide supervision at an event, work with admissions or information or with souvenirs. There is a variety of hands on jobs to sitting down and dealing with paperwork positions.”
The Games will have a medical centre that will have a variety of professionals there but volunteers with first aid or first responder training will be needed at each venue. “If someone has first aid training we would really appreciate them coming forward.”
As preparations continue, the host committee will be showing the venues to representatives of the nine districts in April. This will be to familiarize them with the locations and receive any feedback regarding any overlooked needs or details. In early May, the representatives from each of the sport governing bodies will be in Meadow Lake to check the venues as well.
“Different committee members have been approached by individuals wanting to know how they can make a donation to the games,” said Patterson. “They can go to city hall, where they will be issued a tax-deductible receipt. We have focussed mainly on businesses but individual donations are certainly welcome.
“Things are coming along nicely. We see this as a chance to grow our community and show the spirit and strength of Meadow Lake.”