Toronto 2015 organizers have started training a group of Northwest Territories volunteers for this summer’s Pan American Games.
The 30 or so volunteers will help to ensure events at the Games run smoothly and assist spectators at venues.
On Saturday afternoon, those volunteers received a briefing in Yellowknife from Scott Seetoo, a Toronto 2015 staffing manager.
“Across the Games we have 23,000-plus volunteers, and 7,340 volunteers will get the opportunity to work in the various venues,” Seetoo told Moose FM beforehand.
“It’s a huge initiative to bring in so many different volunteers.”
The territorial government has spent more than a year working with Toronto 2015 to offer young NWT volunteers, aged 18 to 24, the opportunity to take part.
Volunteers will take part in either the Pan Am Games or their disability sport counterpart, the Para Pan Ams.
“They’ll be playing different roles in each of the Games,” explained Seetoo.
“At the Pan Am Games, they’ll be at the Pan Am Common Domain – which is one of our largest festival live sites, and it’ll be a cluster venue of different sports. They’ll be in the middle, directing everyone to the various venues.
“At the Para Pan Am Games they’ll be working at the Ryerson Athletics Centre on wheelchair basketball, helping to be the face of the Games.”
More information: Toronto 2015 official website
Irene Alderdice, a volunteering ambassador for the Games, accompanied Seetoo to Yellowknife.
Alderdice will volunteer at the swimming and synchronized swimming venue at Toronto 2015, working face-to-face with some of the world’s best swimmers.
“Some of the sports we’re doing at the Pan Ams and Para Pan Ams are the qualifiers for Rio 2016 (the Olympics and Paralympics) next year. The elite of the elite are going to be in Toronto and that is so exciting,” said Alderdice.
“For me, when I watched the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, all I thought the whole time was how I wished I was there. That Canadian spirit was enormous. This time, how can I not be involved?”
Saturday’s session involved Seetoo and Alderdice getting to know the NWT’s volunteers over lunch, before offering a presentation to tell them more about their jobs, and a Q&A session.
The Pan Am Games run from July 10-26, with the Para Pan Ams taking place a month later, from August 7-15.
More than 40 nations will take part. The event claims to be the world’s third-largest multi-sports event, behind the Olympic Summer Games and Asian Games.