Ontario 55+ Summer Games volunteers get trained, more Amherstburg volunteers needed


PrintBy Ron Giofu


Volunteers taking part in the Aug. 19-21 Ontario 55+ Summer Games received their training but organizers would still like to see more people from Amherstburg come forward.

Volunteer training sessions were held at Mackenzie Hall in Windsor last Tuesday in preparation for the games, which are being held in both Amherstburg and Windsor. Volunteer co-ordinator Linda Andrejicka said they have a good number of volunteers now, but more from Amherstburg would be helpful.

“We’re at the 300+ mark (overall) now,” said Andrejicka. “We could use a few more from Amherstburg. Our numbers are a little low.”

Andrejicka said there will be 18 events divided between Amherstburg and Windsor. Local venues include the Libro Centre (contract bridge, cribbage, cycling, floor shuffleboard and horseshoes), Fox Glen Golf Course (golf), the Verdi Club (bocce, carpet bowling), Toddy Jones Park (prediction walking), Centennial Park (slo-pitch) and Wigle Park (slo-pitch). Volunteer shifts could be one 4-6 hour shift or a shift that lasts each of the three days.

Tim Beaulieu, who co-chairs the event with Calvin Little, said planning for the Ontario 55+ Summer Games started over two years ago.

“A lot of great people are putting in a lot of hours,” he said.

Beaulieu said they are in “the final stages” of planning and was happy that over 300 volunteers have signed up thus far. He noted the larger pool in which to draw volunteers from is Windsor and pointed out a little over 100 volunteers come from Amherstburg while just under 200 come from Windsor.

“I’m happy with what we’ve been able to get from all around our area,” said Beaulieu. “I’m very pleased with the response from volunteers.”

Subcommittees that were set up as part of the Games Organizing Committee (GOC) have both an Amherstburg and a Windsor member leading them, Beaulieu added.

Almost 1,200 participants are expected for the three days with volunteers expected to not only work the events, but to act as tour guides on buses when participants come from Windsor to Amherstburg. Opening ceremonies will be Aug. 19 at the Libro Centre starting at 5:30 p.m.

Pat Catton, co-chair of the sport committee, also said more volunteers are necessary to assist in running the games. He said the Ontario 55+ Summer Games will allow local residents to see sports they’ve never seen competitively before including cycling and prediction walking. The games will also leave legacy projects behind, added Catton, such as horseshoe pits at the Libro Centre and baseball equipment for leagues in town.

Theresa Syer of the Syer Hospitality Group gave a presentation at each of the two training sessions last Tuesday on providing “WOW” customer service. She said they were training volunteers to give the best customer service experience possible.

“It’s about how you make them feel,” said Syer. “They are all a customer in one way, shape or form.”

Syer said it was similar to having guests in one’s home.

“It’s about creating experiences that your guests will take home with them for a lifetime” she said. “Everyone’s role is critical. It’s all about the human experience. Focus like a laser beam on the customer or guest.”

For more information or to volunteer, visit www.ontario55plussummergames.com or www.facebook.com/Ontario55plus.

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