Athletes’ village volunteers run a tight ship

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Published on February 20, 2014

Bunk beds are seen at Carlton Comprehensive Public High School this week, which are housing about 1,900 this week -- the week broken in half, accommodating 950 people at a time. 

Published on February 20, 2014

2014 Saskatchewan Winter Games athletes and coaches line up for lunch at the Carlton Comprehensive Public High School cafeteria on Thursday. Pictured at right is games organizing committee member Lyle Karasiuk. 

Published on February 20, 2014

Coaches chill out in the coaches break room at Carlton Comprehensive Public High School on Thursday. 

Published on February 20, 2014

Athletes and coaches are served up dinner on Thursday at the Carlton Comprehensive Public High School cafeteria. 

Published on February 20, 2014

Athletes and coaches dish themselves up some food at the Carlton Comprehensive Public High School cafeteria on Thursday. 

Published on February 20, 2014

Athletes and coaches make their way down the halls of Carlton Comprehensive Public High School on Thursday.

Published on February 20, 2014

A few of the many paintings created by 2014 Saskatchewan Winter Games athletes are seen at Carlton Comprehensive Public High School on Thursday.

“I’m sorry, you can’t be here,” Lyle Karasiuk told a middle-aged couple who were walking through the Saskatchewan Winter Games athletes’ village on Thursday.

Despite their insistence that they were there to see their daughter, there was no swaying either Karasiuk or the security guard who took over the situation.

“It’s not so much keeping the athletes in as much as keeping people out,” Karasiuk later explained. “Every one of (the athletes) -- we’re in charge of their wellness and safety, so they’re well-fed, their medical needs are looked after and they’re safe as well.”

At last a dozen security guards are stationed throughout Carlton Comprehensive Public High School throughout the week, and those without the proper credentials shall not pass.

Providing the Daily Herald a tour of the athletes’ village on Thursday, Karasiuk, who serves as athletes services co-ordinator, said that the school was transformed into lodgings for about 950 people within a day and a half.

A crew of about 40 volunteers started work as soon as school let out on Friday, and had turned it into an operational athletes’ village by 11 p.m.

“It’s a madhouse to turn it around,” Karasiuk summarized, adding that the reverse procedure will begin as soon as the games wrap up on Saturday afternoon, with the building ready for teachers by 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The library has been transformed into a mission office, where personnel from each district organize their goings-on.

Classrooms throughout the building have been transformed into dormitories -- boys separated from girls -- where bunk beds have been set up to accommodate the 950 participants.

“These beds are actually a legacy item from the 1999 Western Canada Games,” Karasiuk explained, noting that eight semi-trailers transport them from event to event throughout Western Canada.

“For the most part,” the youth who are calling the school home for the week have been good, Karasiuk said.

Every one of (the athletes) -- we’re in charge of their wellness and safety, so they’re well-fed, their medical needs are looked after and they’re safe as well. Lyle Karasiuk

The first batch of 950 people went home on Wednesday, at which time the event’s second batch came in.

In addition to the basic living accommodations, both batches of 950 people have had separate coach and athlete lounges to relax in, as well as artistic projects headed by local artist Cheryl Ring to take part in.

“I was here four years ago as a badminton coach, so it’s pretty well the same experience,” Rivers West gymnastics coach Cory Gowen said, comparing Prince Albert’s hosting job to that of Moose Jaw.

Lined up in the cafeteria with a small group of youngsters from the Rosetown area, Gowen said that their first night at the athletes’ village went well, and their Thursday morning was full of activity.

Prairie Central gymnastics coach Kent Dignean had his own group of young athletes in tow at the cafeteria lineup.

“They like it,” he said of the youngsters’ take on the village. “They went swimming last night, so that was fun.

“Prince Albert is good. I was really impressed with the high school -- I thought this was a really good high school to be able to host the village.”

Like a well-oiled machine, everything runs on a schedule, Karasiuk said. The showers open at 5 a.m. Breakfast, lunch and supper have their own designated times. Everyone must be in their rooms by 11 p.m, and lights go out at 11:30 p.m.

Everything comes down to the hard work of volunteers, he concluded.

“We’ve got an incredible group of volunteers, from food services, to logistics, to sport volunteers -- everywhere you see there are some 800 volunteers making these games run.”

Organizations: Carlton Comprehensive Public High School, Daily Herald, Prince Albert

Geographic location: Western Canada, Moose Jaw, Rosetown

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments