ED Blog: “Cup Of Jo” - Community Recreation Rock Stars

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ED Blog: “Cup Of Jo” - Community Recreation Rock Stars

Many communities employ Recreation Directors {aka “recreation rock stars”} to oversee the many programs, spaces and facilities, and events that contribute to our quality of life and wellness. Recreation Directors are typically hired by the municipality and take on several roles, one often being a “community builder”, who liaises and supports the many volunteer groups that make sport, culture and recreation activities happen. They can take on many different titles, such as Facility Manager, Programmer, and Leisure Services Manager.

We have seen an increase in the development of these positions in the past couple of years in the south east. Our staff have met with several municipalities who have or are in the midst of exploring such a position. Why? Well, groups are telling us that recreation service delivery is becoming more and more complex with aging infrastructure. There is increased stress put on volunteers to fundraise as well as manage facilities and implement programs. There are also challenges around keeping up with participant demands and the changing needs in the community.

Recreation Directors are being hired for the successful administration of recreation services to alleviate the stress put on the volunteer sector. It doesn't mean these positions replace volunteers, it just means they can manage the day-to-day operations and provide leadership and support to volunteers.

All of the leisure activities we get to do in our parks, sport facilities, and arts spaces is dependent on the hard work, passion and leadership of these professionals. They plan for future; develop safe and quality recreation programs, support and provide leadership to volunteer groups such as minor sport clubs and local volunteer boards; effectively operate and maintain quality recreation facilities including parks, arenas and pools; and research and acquire funding to run programs. They are ROCK STARS!

If you are a community that is exploring a new recreation position, and you would like to learn more, contact us! Our South East District staff team offers workshops, tools and resources that can help you on your way to getting your very own recreation rock star!

You must check out our new Mission Moments video on our website (www.southeastdistrict.ca) that features two rural south east communities that recently hired Recreation Directors – see what they had to say!

South East District also has a Recreation Practitioner Manual that consists of seven (7) modules that can be used as a refresher, orientation or training opportunity!

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