Celebrating civic duty

I attended the 2017 City of Kelowna Civic Awards the other night as a finalist for the Fred Macklin Man of the Year Award and was blown away by the incredible community leaders who were awarded for their leadership, stewardship and community support.

From teens making the world a better place, rising athletes putting the Okanagan on the map, to every-day citizens going the extra mile, I was proud to be a part of what makes our city so special.

What struck me was the common theme of selfless service, commitment to a cause and a passion for doing good.

It's true that nobody who volunteers sets out to win awards or be recognized, they do what they do for a love of community and to give back, but it sure was nice to see our fellow citizens recognized, and it inspired me to do even more.

Kudos to the City of Kelowna for this 43-year-old tradition of celebrating civic duty.

Their dedication helps you

A big Heroes shout out goes out to all the dedicated personal trainers and fitness instructors who are keeping Kelowna in shape. 

There are many out there who can head out for a run, bike or workout without anyone reminding them, but we all know that nothing beats the motivation, planning and sometimes even downright fear of a super fit personal trainer yelling at you to drop down and give them 30 push ups or another two minutes of bicycle abs.

 he trainers I know are often up at 4 a.m. to workout themselves prior to a day and often night of training their clients. At Oranj Fitness, where I train, not only are the trainers fit, fierce and funny but they are really knowledge of body movement and the balance It takes to become fit and stay healthy. 

For everyone who works with a trainer you know what I mean and for those who don’t, try a session, a group class or boot camp; you will sweat, maybe even curse, but your body will thank you later.

Black-and-white stripes

It dawned on me on a recent rainy Saturday morning as I high-fived a young teen in a black-and-white uniform that what he was doing was rare and special.

We had just wrapped the first game of a new soccer season and after the chaos of six year olds racing around a mini field had worn off, I had an epiphany.

I realized this teen volunteer was the most nervous kid on the pitch and it was his role to keep three kids and 20 plus parents, including four enthusiastic coaches, in check, and it was his first game as a junior referee.

Imagine how hard it is to officiate any game when parents are hyper aware of the rules, the standings and, of course, want their kids to excel, win, achieve.

Sometimes we forget that a game at the age of six on a soggy, bumpy field in South East Kelowna means fun, friendship and maybe a moment worthy of talking about in the car ride home. It wasn’t about the missed call, the final score or any one player, it was about a skinny 13-year-old boy and his six-year-old peers having fun together.

So the next time you see a volunteer youth ref in any sport your kids play, high-five them and say thanks.

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About the Author

Richard James Deacon is a passionate philanthropist and volunteer and is dedicated to making a lasting impact on the community. Richard has been a director on a variety of not-for-profit boards across Canada, but is most proud of his role as the founder of 100 Kids Who Care Kelowna, as a co-creator of The Ron+Clair Deacon Leaders Pay It Forward Program, being a Scouts Canada Beaver leader and coaching his son in Central Okanagan youth soccer.

Richard, his beautiful wife, MaryAnn, and their young sons, Reston and Parker, along with golden retriever Buddy live in Kettle Valley and they love to travel the planet extensively. What they love most about Kelowna is that everybody says hi to each other and it still has that small town feel.

Contact Richard at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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