30 Years and Counting!

Without volunteers, we wouldn’t be here. We have a saying on the wall here at Sport Central: “It’s amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit.” So many work tirelessly to witness the reward of seeing a kid’s smile when they receive their first bike or skates. We greatly appreciate all of the hard work that everyone puts in and every little bit helps. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you volunteers!

Our Volunteer Goals have been set for our fiscal year which runs September 1st to August 31st. As of the end of February, here is where we are at:

  • 3000 hours to date out of target 6000 volunteer hours = 50% to goal
  • 981 onsite kids outfitted to date out of target 1700 = 58% to goal
  • 78 active volunteers to date out of target 90 = 87% to goal

We’ll be showing our thanks with food at our Volunteer BBQ on April 27th here at Sport Central. If you can join us 11:30am – 1pm, please, RSVP by April 22nd by emailing Cindy Giang at cgiang@sportcentral.org or by phone: 780.477.1166.  

Our Volunteers are recognized annually at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) for exceptional work and longstanding service on our team. Our 2021 Volunteer Service Award Winners are:    

Cliff Lacey – Bike Shop (Since 1999)

For 11 years of commitment to our Bicycle Program so far and hopefully a few more yet, we recognize Sport Central Volunteer Service Award Winner for 2021, Cliff Lacey!

Cliff found Sport Central 11 years ago while working as a Parks Director for Strathcona County. His keen interest in the development of Parks to encourage the play and recreation of children eventually led to the discovery of our charity where he found kindred spirits wanting to enhance the play of children by removing obstacles and providing opportunities for sport.  

Having an interest in cycling, or perhaps a revulsion to odorous used sports equipment, Cliff found a home in our Bike Shop where he could develop his mechanical skills, socialise with great volunteers, and provide bikes for disadvantaged children.  Cliff is always ready and willing to assist in any way he can volunteering at community events, bike rallies and races where Sport Central receives the proceeds. Even during the lockdowns of the recent Pandemic, Cliff made phone calls to Police Officers and City Officials advocating on behalf of our charity searching for additional resources and donations to our Bicycle Program. 

Cliff is rarely seen in a bad mood as he brings an infectious optimism and team first attitude to his volunteering at Sport Central. 

After almost a year away, we are glad to have him back helping kids in need get bikes to ride. 

Cliff is also a valuable resource at coffee breaks and lunch times when he solves factual debates by asking a strange lady named SIRI for answers.                 

Congratulations Cliff and thank you!        

Roy Tofteland – Warehouse (Since 2010)

For 22 years of volunteering in our Equipment Warehouse so far, we celebrate and recognize Sport Central Volunteer Service Award Winner for 2021, Roy Tofteland!

Roy has been with us since 1999, the year Wayne Gretzky retired. Ironically, it was the same year he retired as well, after being offered an early package by TELUS. 

Needing to downsize after amalgamating with BC Tel, TELUS President George Petty convinced his Board of Directors to offer a year of pensionable service at half salary for any retirees who donated at least 20 hours per week in volunteer labour in the community. Some of those employees accepting the offer found their way to Sport Central that year. At its peak we had 17 volunteers from the TELUS arrangement which helped our charity immensely. In April of 2000, the first of the TELUS volunteers finished their time and left. Some stayed and still remain with us. People like Jim Taylor, Jim Harvey and this year’s Award winner, Roy Tofteland. Perhaps no one told Roy his volunteer time was completed and he is still waiting for the call from TELUS head office!

Roy prefers to volunteer in the Main Warehouse and is a very versatile person, and he should be after 22 years of experience! He sorts and boxes equipment, repairs and sizes helmets, lacing skates and many other tasks when asked. All the while he is chewing gum and engaging with other volunteers and staff. Like Cliff Lacey, I have rarely seen him in a bad mood; he seems unflappable and always relaxed.

One of Roy’s favourite rituals when he volunteers is his lunch from either A & W or Tim Hortons. This might be more important than his volunteer work at Sport Central and a few of us,  love to tease him about it. 

We missed seeing many of our steady and long-serving volunteers during the Pandemic break, so having Roy and others in this room back on the bench and helping our team is a great thing. The legend of Sport Central lives on in you and people like Roy.

Congratulations Roy and thank you!

Well there you have it! Proof of just how much fun our volunteers have, the strong friendships forged and the satisfaction of being a part of enhancing childhoods with sport. 

Feel ready to volunteer? Check out this information on our Open Volunteer Positions:     

Warehouse Assistant

Bike Shop Mechanic

For more information or to request a tour of our facilities, please get in touch by emailing thekid@sportcentral.org