With the provincial 2014 provincial Winter Games less than three years away, the Town of Clarenville has taken the next step in getting a host committee in place.
In this effort, the Recreation and Arts Committee of council recommended in their report to council at Tuesday night’s meeting that Greg Pittman be appointed to the position of chair.
Rod Nicholl, chair of the recreation and arts committee said there is no question that Greg Pittman has the experience and leadership qualities that makes him an ideal candidate.
“He is well connected to the sport and recreation community and also networks through the Chamber of Commerce with the business community,” says Nicholl
“Being a committed athlete and team player himself, he has a sense of how important these games are to our community and the province in general. I have had a number of meetings with him regarding the magnitude of this initiative and he indicated that he is up for the challenge and eager to get engaged in the process,” added Nicholl.
Pittman remembers attending the opening ceremonies of the 1994 winter games in Clarenville.
“I remember sitting there in the stands at the old stadium thinking how tremendous it was for our community,” says Pittman “I’m grateful to the selection committee that they have the confidence in me to lead the team for the 2014 provincial winter Games,” says Pittman.
For the next two months Pittman will be putting together the nearly 30 people that will sit on the host committee. He says he doesn’t foresee any problem in getting quality individuals to come on board.
“I’ve worked with a lot of talented people over the last 20 years so I don’t think it will be very difficult to put together a strong team to see these games become a reality.”
Pittman is looking forward to the challenge ahead of him over the next few years. However, he feels this time around his committee will have a number of key advantages over the 1994 host committee.
“For one thing we can go to those people if we have any questions,” he says. “That committee did such a tremendous job I’m sure they would be quite willing to offer some advice.”
Another perk this committee will have is a dedicated Games coordinator recently hired by the province.
However, the biggest advantage the 2014 host committee will have at its disposal is social media.
“Back in 1994 the host committee had no access to e-mail. It was just coming on stream and it wasn’t here in Clarenville,” says Pittman. “Setting up meetings is just a click of a button and the message gets out to dozens and dozens of recipients. It’s going to be much more effective.”
Councillor Nicholl says since the announcement indicating the Town of Clarenville was successful in their bid to host the games, many individuals have already come forward to offer their support and he says these names will be shared with the newly appointed games chair.
“We have great volunteers in this community with exceptional skill sets. I don’t anticipate Greg having any issues creating a very effective and productive organizational committee,” says Nicholl.
“The town is very excited by the potential these games offer the community. Twenty years ago we began the planning process for the 1994 Winter Games so we have that experience to build from. This will be an opportunity for the entire community to showcase our athletes, our facilities and our proven track record of volunteerism,” he says.
As for the chair, Pittman says he is looking forward to the next three years leading up to the Games.
“We’re going to set the bar for future Games. My hope is that athletes and visitors will leave here after the Games saying it was the best time of my life.”