Carol Phillips
4/25/20
Bernie Puchalski, BP Sports Niagara

Honouring Our Volunteers : Carol Phillips

Without volunteers, the Canada Games wouldn’t be possible. Since the first Games took place in Quebec City back in 1967, over 100,000 individuals, whether professionals or not, have volunteered their time to help out in all facets of the Games, and they have done so with great pride. The Niagara 2021 Canada Games Host Society is very proud to continue that tradition of working with passionate volunteers, and is looking forward to welcoming over 4,000 for the Games in August 2021. In honour of National Volunteer Week, we are featuring our leadership team of volunteers, who have been with us since the beginning!

Serving as the Volunteer Services Chair for the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games is an opportunity for Carol Phillips to pay it forward.

As Canada celebrates National Volunteer Week from April 19-25, Phillips is reflecting on her role with the Games.

“Sports and recreation have been a massive part of my life and it is probably responsible for most things in my life and that’s how I got involved,” said the associate dean of community services at Niagara College. “I recognize that I am grateful for all the opportunities that have been presented to me through recreation and sport. It was a really easy decision to jump on board.”

Phillips’ sports and recreation background is extensive. She currently works as both the coordinator and a faculty member for Niagara College’s recreation therapy and leisure/recreation services programs. She also sits on the executive committee in Welland for Special Olympics Ontario, she’s coached basketball for many years, and she played both basketball and softball in her teens. Additionally, she earned a recreation and leisure degree from Brock University, before obtaining a post-graduate diploma in therapeutic recreation from Georgian College.

In her personal life, she is married to former Brock varsity wrestler Jeff Phillips.

“Sports and recreation are all entwined in my entire life.”

In her role as Volunteer Services Chair, Phillips is in the process of making sure every venue has enough volunteers to effectively run the events.

It is early on in the process.

“We have assigned the lead positions into each of the venues,” said the Laura Secord Secondary School alumna. “The short-term focus is some of the test events but the longer-term focus will be making sure the venues have the capacity they need.”

Phillips, who was born in Quebec but has spent the past 50 years as a resident of St. Catharines, estimates upwards of 5,000 volunteers will be required to make sure the 2021 Games run smoothly.

“I think there are about 1,000 people who have already reached out and showed their desire,” she said. “Lots of people are showing interest and we are recording those names now. I know it is growing exponentially.”

Phillips is obviously a big proponent of volunteering for the Games.

“The people I am connecting with and meeting are extraordinarily community-minded people and I think in terms of their professional and community development, I would encourage them to share in the excitement in this,” she said. “I think they will be forever changed, much like the community will be forever changed.”

She has been excited working through the process and can’t wait to see the legacies left behind by Niagara2021.

“It is important to have the facilities legacy, but I really think it’s the human legacy. The skills that will be learned by people, the connections people make, and the personal growth that will come from being involved is where I lean more heavily.”

This report was filed by BP Sports Niagara, which is owned and operated by Bernie Puchalski and Bill Potrecz.

 

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