Bill has been actively involved with campus recreation since 1986 as a full-time University of Lethbridge student. First as an intramural referee (one year), then as the Student Coordinator for three years. Upon graduation in 1990 (a BA in Recreation), Bill became the first full-time Intramural/Clubs Coordinator with Recreation Services and served in this position until 1993. In 1991, Bill initiated/created a co-ed recreational soccer league (SOFA) and this league now has more than 750 players annually. In 2000, Bill presented at the CIRA Conference in Calgary, the presentation (“Building Better Community Relations”) was based on the SOFA experience and other community outreach programs.
From 1993 until 2003, Bill was the active Recreation Services Coordinator. Working with a small, dedicated staff of two, Recreation Services continued to grow as the primary recreation service provider for much of the City of Lethbridge and the campus community. In 2003, the university restructured and combined Athletics/Recreation Services under a single Executive Director and opened a new $35 million Wellness complex. Under this new organizational structure, Bill became the Associate Director of Programming and continues in this position currently.
Bill has been active as an official in a variety of sports from 1988 to 2015—soccer, football and basketball. Bill’s love of basketball has provided numerous opportunities, culminating in a five year CIS Basketball official, officiating Men’s Basketball in the 2005 Canada Games (Regina), officiating two CCAA Women’s National’s, officiating one Men’s Juvenile National’s, and countless provincials.
Bill has been a resident of Lethbridge since 1977 and married a former Pronghorn Soccer goalie in 1991.
What do you see as opportunities in collegiate recreation and our Association? How would you collaborate with the Member Network team to address these issues?
The University of Lethbridge is situated in a unique municipality. The City of Lethbridge (population of 95,000) currently does not provide direct recreational programming for its populace. As such, in the early 1990’s I recognized the need for such programming and started to fill the void by extending recreational opportunities both on and off campus open to all—students and local community. This has translated into a positive working relationship with the City of Lethbridge and other like-minded constituents.
As such, I would view Horns Recreation, University of Lethbridge as a leader and driver of recreation for the entire City of Lethbridge and surrounding communities. I would collaborate with the local college (Lethbridge College) and try to bring us together as a central resource for recreational programming in Lethbridge and Southern Alberta.
I would consider the NIRSA organization and its network connections as a primary resource—especially for ‘college’ towns/communities similar in size and make-up to Lethbridge.
In describing your contributions to NIRSA, identify how your involvement and experiences meet the position criteria and qualify you to serve NIRSA in this role.
I have been the singular individual actively engaged with NIRSA at the University of Lethbridge for over 25 years. In my early years as the Intramural Coordinator, the resources provided through NIRSA helped shape the structure and culture of Intramurals at the U of L. Over the past 20 years, I have leveraged the leadership resources from NIRSA to develop sound hiring practices within our department and I continue to provide leading edge programs for both our campus and local community. Additionally, I have promoted NIRSA with all the Intramural Coordinators both at the U of L and our local community college (Lethbridge College).
I have been the driving force behind encouraging the new Executive Director to view NIRSA (and the U of L’s involvement) as an important organization to get acquainted with and promote to the rest of our department. There is plenty of work to be done to help transition the next group of recreation leaders at the U of L and as to how important NIRSA is in the continued re-engineering of recreational opportunities to the next generation.
Please share your ideas for cultivating leaders in your region.
My philosophy of sharing idea and growing leaders is through open dialogue and direct development of inter-personal relationships. In smaller centres, like Lethbridge, there tends to be a smaller, more cohesive and entrenched group of recreational professionals; these individuals tend to be open to working collaboratively and prefer one-to-one meetings. Within my region I would reach out to the various recreational professionals through phone calls (conference calls), group emails, webinars, and local trips/visits if the opportunity exists/permits.
Additionally, I would encourage the constant sharing of ideas/programs. I would set up a sharing site and task each professional to provide insights/specifics regarding an issue/situation/opportunity on a monthly or quarterly basis; under the premise that more frequent communication will foster a stronger and direct relationship amongst the professionals.