Recreation Director (Episode 137)

Recreation Director (Episode 137)


Community and fitness centres need someone to evaluate and organize the programs they offer. Our next guest does all that and more. She also encourages kids with mobility challenges to get active, to have a happy and healthy life. Today we meet a recreation director. Hi. I’m Brian. Hi. I’m Marni. Nice to meet you. Let me show you around. Great. I’m Marni Abbott-Peter. I’m a recreation director in Vancouver, B.C. I’m the director of the Let’s Play program, which is part of the
BC Wheelchair Basketball Society. A typical day would involve me going to the office and doing a bit of administration work. Sometimes I get to go to visit kids at schools or in community centres
and I’d be coaching in the evenings and involves planning and preparing for a variety of different activities,
depending on the day, and then implementing them. So, is all of your time spent out here on the court? No. There’s quite a bit
of office work involved, as well. A lot of planning like we were talking about earlier, facilities booking, budgeting, assessing programs, and one of the biggest pieces is communication, whether it’s with athletes, participants,
sponsors, co-workers, other coaches. Of course. The hours are super flexible. Some days I might come in at noon. Other days, we start earlier in the morning. There is a lot of overtime—weekends, evenings
are involved— but it’s a really a fun job and there’s
lots of exciting things to do. There’s actually a variety of different types
of training you could have. There’s recreational therapy, event management,
sport management… My coach education has come
through the NCCP program, which is Canada’s national certification program. Other people have been able to rely on their
own experience as athletes or their previous experience in other fields and being able to translate some of those skills over to the sport and recreation field. Sport and recreation is constantly
changing and growing and so there’s always new things
to be learned in the field. There’s great opportunities
for professional development in terms of educational seminars, coaching education,
on-the-job experience, and you actually learn a lot from the participants and the people that you’re working with, as well. So, with your career, you’re not just
coming out and telling people what to do. You’re actually designing a program, as well. Yeah, so depending on the level of the athletes
or the participants, uh, we’ll have a specific plan and a program. Some of the higher performance things, we
have more of a seasonal plan. With some of the more developmental groups,
we work on fitness and conditioning, as well as building some of the fundamental
skills that they need to play the games. You’re custom making a program, depending on what it is that you
need to be able to do. Right. It’s really important to be able to solve problems and to kind of be able to change things on the fly. Being in a job like this,
you have to be able to adapt and be really innovative
in terms of what you’re offering and understanding who the demographic
is that you’re working with. Leadership, I think is really important
in terms of being able to manage yourself. A lot of the time, you’re working on your
own or you’re having to lead a group. Having those leadership skills helps you gain the respect that you need in order to do your job. Tara’s going to show you one of the skills
we do to practice agility and speed, really important in this game, and Tara’s really great at it, so she’ll show you how it’s done
and then you can give it a try. Okay, great. So, really quick turns. Really works on your agility,
speed and endurance. Pull back…and spin…and…around. There you go! Yeah. Close, without running you over, there. Yeah, that’s close. That’s a good workout, yeah? Okay, now how about some,
little bit of speed added to that? I’m constantly giving advice. Understanding how people are receiving
that is really important in order to make sure that the communication
is clear and concise. And whether it’s verbal or written,
it’s required on a daily basis. There’s lots of different opportunities, depending on what you’re interested in. Being more of an administrative position,
you could become a coach. There’s programming positions available. You could have lots of opportunities to change what you’re doing
or to change your focus. The advice I would give to someone considering
a career in this field is to go for it. It’s the best field to work in. It’s so rewarding on a daily basis to help people get involved and to get active and to see them enjoying
and improving their quality of life. It’s just a fantastic way to make connections, make friends and to help improve people’s lives. Marni, thank you so much for your time today. Thank you for having me. Take care. You, too. Once again, I’m Brian for Career Trek, reminding you that this career could be yours. See you next time.

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