Your chance to get in the Games

Marion Hunter thought she was signing up to rally together a few volunteers, but soon found out she was going to be playing a bigger role in the BC Seniors Games.

Marion Hunter is busy looking for volunteers for this year's BC Seniors Games.

Marion Hunter is busy looking for volunteers for this year's BC Seniors Games.

Marion Hunter thought she was signing up to rally together a few volunteers, but soon found out she was going to be playing a bigger role in the BC Seniors Games.

“I’ve always volunteered but mainly in the school system,” said Hunter, the Games’ co-director for volunteers. “I was working over in China for two years as a principal at an off-shore school, knew I was coming home. Bill Reid [Games co-chair] sent me an email asking for my help finding a few volunteers in Nelson.”

Before Hunter got back to Nelson, she signed up a few of her friends to be volunteers.

When she came home, she received a phone call from Pat Metge, BC Seniors Games president, who told her that a board of directors meeting was going on.

“I said ‘board of directors? I thought I was signing up a few volunteers for Nelson?’ and then he told me that everyone at the meeting said ‘Oh yes, just ask Marion, she’ll do it.’”

Hunter said as soon as they handed her a jacket, she was doing a lot more than just signing up a few volunteers.

She has been involved in sports ever since she was a kid.

“My first degree was in physical education,” said Hunter.

Growing up in Nanaimo and attending university at the University of Victoria, she was busy playing basketball and netball.

Eventually Hunter began coaching and refereeing basketball, netball and volleyball.

“This is the first time I’ve been involved with Seniors Games,” she said.

“But I’ve either participated, coached or refereed at both the winter and summer games.”

Hunter, with the help of co-director of volunteers Doreen Smecher in Castlegar, has already signed up 1,100 volunteers but they are still looking for 500 more.

“We are now starting to take volunteer opportunities off the list,” she said. “We don’t need any more volunteers for golf. Dragon boat in Nelson needs some help from people to stand in the water and hold the boat while people load and unload. The tasks are becoming more specific.”

Hunter has travelled all over the world.

“I try to go where there are beaches and where it’s warm,” she said. “But no matter where I go I can’t imagine living in another place. As soon as you arrive in Nelson you feel like this is home, and I think there are only a few places in the world where you find that.”

With August 16 quickly approaching Hunter is beginning to sense the excitement in the community.

“We’ve been working on this for a long time, and now it’s becoming a lot more real, not just for those working on it but also for the community,” she said.

“I really like the fact that the three communities are working together and it gives the community a chance to showcase what they’re about.”

Hunter said that even though people are busy, volunteering for the BC Seniors Games is a great way to give back to the community.

“Volunteering always gives you more than you give out, I’ve always found that. Throughout my life, in all the sports I was involved in, somebody volunteered to coach. At some point in your life someone volunteered their time to help you, and this is a great way to give back.”

To volunteer for the BC Seniors Games, go to the website at 2011bcseniorsgames.org, or fill out an application in Nelson at the community complex, in Trail at the aquatic centre or the library, in Castlegar at the community complex, city hall, or the BC Seniors Games office and in Rossland at the Chamber of Commerce.