Summer Games full of good sports

I think it’s fair to say that the 2014 Summer Games were an overwhelming success.

The Nanaimo 2014 B.C. Summer Games came to an end Sunday afternoon up at Rotary Bowl stadium.

Immediately following the ceremony, over 3,000 visiting athletes, coaches and officials from around the province headed back to their homes. Some were carrying medals. But more importantly, from the comments I heard, they were leaving with great memories of their time in our city. Meanwhile, I’m sure that members of the organizing committee were breathing an exhausted sigh of relief that things had gone well.

I think it’s fair to say that the 2014 Summer Games were an overwhelming success, which is a real tribute to the army of nearly 3,000 volunteers who helped make it possible.

Strong leadership came from Games president Jeff Lott and vice-president Bruce Hunter and extended through the directors and committee chairs. I credited some of those people by name in earlier columns, but they in turn would willingly share any accolades with the myriad of volunteers who worked along with them to make the overwhelming logistics of the Games happen.

One thing that rated special praise from visitors I spoke with was the friendliness of our host volunteers who made them feel welcome. Another was how impressed they were with the multitude of sport venues and facilities that were used.

At each of those venues, a sport chair was responsible for organizing and overseeing competition in the event, as well as medal ceremonies. It was my pleasure to be part of the presentations in athletics at Rotary Bowl, where everything was extremely well organized under the supervision of sport chairs Tyler Heisterman and Al Johnston.

Baseball was played at Serauxman Stadium, with Scott Leaf the chair for that sport. Kel Reed was the chair for basketball, played both at Vancouver Island University and Nanaimo District Secondary. A separate event was three-on-three basketball, hosted at Woodlands Secondary with Willie Galick the chair.

Igor Nikitovic and Sean Plecas were in charge of canoe/kayak competitions held at Long Lake and on Nanaimo River near the Cedar bridge. Equestrian events happened at Beban Park under eye of Susan Harrison. Anna North oversaw golfing at the Nanaimo Golf Club, while Jason Vance looked after inline hockey at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

Frank Crane Arena was the main venue for box lacrosse, with Brian Boas the sport chair for that event. Nearby, Deb Stocks co-ordinated field lacrosse at Merle Logan Field. At Long Lake, Craig Rutherford looked after rowing events, while Jim Stewart chaired the rugby competition at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park. Nanaimo Yacht Club was the venue for sailing, chaired by Jill Christie. Players and spectators were thrilled with the soccer venue at the Beban Park Gyro Youth Sports Fields, with several games happening at once in a festival-like atmosphere looked after by members of the Harbour City Football Club.

Doug Cawthorne was sport chair for softball at the McGirr Sports Fields. Nanaimo Aquatic Centre was home to swimming, chaired by Sylvia Wilson, as well as synchronized swimming looked after by Andrew Scott. Chris Rathy and Jared Adams worked at Quamichan Lake to co-ordinate towed water sports, while at Westwood Lake the triathlon competition was held under the direction of Rob and Kim Williamson. Siona Rounis was sport chair for volleyball at Dover Bay Secondary and Oliver Woods Community Centre, David Friday chaired beach volleyball at Bowen Park and Andrew Tuck oversaw wrestling at North Cedar Intermediate School.

An incredible number of citizens volunteered their time to make the Summer Games a success and they really deserve praise. They brought our community together, created goodwill and enriched us all with an enhanced spirit of community pride.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.

Summer Games require planningJuly 10

With the B.C. Summer Games set to get underway one week from today, organizers are hurriedly taking care of final details to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

The Nanaimo Games have taken a huge amount of planning. This week we continue our recognition of those looking after main areas of responsibility.

First, though, a correction from last week: food services equipment chair is Vivienne Saunders.

Providing care to any Games participants who might require medical attention is the responsibility of the medical directorate, overseen by director Lorne Goodall. Steve Kulla and Liz Gilmour are co-chairs of the medical clinic committee. Co-chairs for physiotherapy are Janice Ruelle, Darren Earl, Steve Van Schubert and Monica Eickmeier, while the other medical chairs are Ron Lambert, Ron Williams and Janet Cowling.

Tracey White and Sandy Atkinson are the co-directors of the protocol directorate for the Games. Charlene Kotze is the volunteer chair, while Denise Pond has taken charge of training hosts. Diana Johnstone is the chair for receptions, Claude Therrien is medals chair, Irene Morrison heads up guest registration and Ian Thorpe is sergeant-at-arms at ceremonial events.

Promoting Games events and the need for volunteers is the job of the promotions directorate, led by Jenn Houtby. Chairing committees are Kyla Karakochuk for digital media and Erin MacDonald for public relations. Kathy Watson is the chair for merchandise, while Judy Stephan looks after the souvenir program. Co-chairing the committee to arrange photographers are Dirk Heydemann and Ursula Weiss.

Yuho Okada is the director of registration and results, charged with signing up all volunteers and participants and processing sports results. Within the directorate are chairs Michelle Okawara, Hal Chalmers, Laura Landry and Lorne Freedman.

Director for security at the Games is Jean-Michel Hanssens.Marilyn MacDonald, Rob Sampson, Teresa Anslow, Mark Peers, David and Linda Warner, Ted Schinbein and Stuart Cunningham are other security chairs.

A logistical challenge for the Games involves transportation for all participants to and from the various sport venues. In charge of the transportation directorate is Gerald Laporte, who will work with chairs Mike Patterson, John Wells, Ed McDonald, Kit Stannard, Gerry Hand and Jim Spencer.

Of course at the centre of the Games are the sports themselves, each at a different venue and requiring organization. Responsibility for the sport directorate has been taken on by Barry Sparkes. Sherri Wade is the chair for equipment and Brian Sugiyama for venue management. David Elgie and Dave and Nancy Twynam and Patrick Maguire are other sport chairs.

Also reporting to the Games chair are committee chairs for each of the more than 20 sports involved. We’ll acknowledge those people next week as the Games get underway.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.

Summer Games a big dealJuly 3

All of a sudden, the B.C. Summer Games are just two weeks away.

Planning for this huge event has been a massive undertaking and now it’s crunch time as the team of volunteer organizers fine-tune their plans so that everything runs smoothly when the Games happen here from July 17-20.

Heading up that organizing team is Nanaimo 2014 B.C. Summer Games president Jeff Lott, assisted by vice-president Bruce Hunter and operations manager Lori Barlow.

Then come 14 directors, each of whom oversees numerous committees in the major areas of responsibility for different aspects of the Games.

Pam Donnelly is the director in charge of accomodation, arranging accommodation for close to 4,000 athletes, coaches, managers and officials who will be in town for the Games. Within the directorate are committees chaired by Anne Judson, Susan Flint, Jeanne McNaughton, Debbie Narver, Chris Southwick and Audrey West.

The administration directorate chaired by Dan Kucherka oversees all admin planning for the Games. Committees include volunteers chaired by Nicole Yusep, budget control headed by Natasha Kucherka, environment chaired by Morgan Kennah, food concessions chaired by Darci Dukoff and risk management headed by Nicole Parkinson. Trina Brubaker chairs legal services and Bob Webb is in charge of the warehouse.

The ceremonies directorate, tasked with planning all aspects of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games, is headed by Arlene Blundell. Joanne Rowland is chair for volunteers, Silvia Knapp heads a committee for entertainment, Lawrence Tang for marshalling and Gregory Heide for looking after properties.

Director for communications, just as he was when the Games were last held here in 2002, is Gord Robinson. Committees include volunteers chaired by Mary Smith and equipment headed by Terry Burkitt. Chairing computer services is Dave Yule, electrical power is Gary Toole, switchboard is Jan Lawson and telephone systems is Sid Cosman.

Michelle Behie is the director in charge of special events. Working with her are Veronica Buck and Penny Crosby as chair of volunteers, Lisa and David O’Sullivan as co-chairs of holding area and Sarah Joachim as chair of participant special events. Also within the directorate are Wally Wells as chair of community development and Amanda Daly heading up volunteer appreciation events.

The food services directorate has the huge task of arranging breakfast, lunch and dinner for all Games participants. Ashwak Sirri is the director in charge and committees are chaired by Ian Ter Veer, Geoff Murdoch, Corry Hostetter, Shaun Malakoe and Anne Marie Smith.

Rod Milner is head of the important Friends of the Games directorate, which provides a link between all directorates for the purpose of recruiting and recognizing donations from local businesses. Mike Delves is the directorate liaison, while Greg and Troy-Anne Constable head up recruitment, Andre Sullivan chairs the recognition committee and Al Dreger is the volunteer committee chair.

Next week we’ll review the other Summer Games directorates. Meanwhile, volunteers are still needed. If you can help, go the website

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair and show good sportsmanship.