This Thursday marks 123 days until the start of the 2013 Summer Games at Muskoday First Nation, and local organizers have chosen it as the launching pad for their volunteer drive.
“We’re looking for 500 new volunteers from Prince Albert and region to come help at the Games, even if it’s only for an hour or for the whole week,” games co-ordinator Marvin C. Sanderson said.
“If you have a chance to volunteer, we greatly welcome you to come and sign up at the Gateway Mall from 1 to 9 p.m.”
For the first day of the campaign, organizers will set up a table beneath the skylight in the Gateway Mall. Thereafter, volunteers can find application forms at the First Nation Summer Games office, which is open Mondays to Fridays and some weekends at the mall.
Along with filling out an application form, volunteers will be fitted for their t-shirts and informed about incentives such as the Volunteer Appreciation Night and barbecue.
Opportunities for volunteer work are fairly diverse. One potential avenue is helping out with the sporting events, serving as a goalkeeper, judge or referee in events such as archery, canoeing, golf, soccer and softball.
Other possibilities include helping out at food services or with the PotashCorp Concert in the Dark.
“This concert is right after the opening ceremonies, and so we’ll need volunteer security working with our regular security to insure the safety of all the participants,” Sanderson said.
We’re looking for 500 new volunteers from Prince Albert and region to come help at the Games, even if it’s only for an hour or for the whole week. - Marvin C. Sanderson
“Down in food services, if they can come and help serve food at the athletes’ village or possibly one of the schools that we’re going to be renting out to serve food, they can do that also.
“There are so many opportunities, and when they come and see the (volunteer) form, they can actually come and check off what they would like to do and at which hours and which days they can, so they have a variety of selections to help us out.
“We’re asking aboriginal, non-aboriginal, young or old to come and help us, to give us a hand.”
Planning for the 2013 games has been underway for more than two years.
Although the start date for the volunteer drive was chosen in part to allow time for volunteers to submit their paperwork and have it processed, the 123-day time frame also has more symbolic meaning.
“That 123 is significant to the games,” Sanderson said.
“As we talked about, it could be the first, second or third place finisher. It could be the one, two, three of the drumbeat before they start playing a song. It can be the one, two, three out to the softball game.
“We just picked 123 because it was a nice ring to the name and 123 days to the games are possibly approaching … We’re looking forward to the games, but it’s time to push for the volunteers now and hopefully we can get our community on board.”