You Can Still Get Involved With the 2010 Olympics!

olympic mascotsSFU students who have ever had anything to do with Volunteer Services have probably met Trina Isakson. She is the hardworking coordinator of Volunteer Services and Community-Based Learning who has a special interest in volunteering and enjoys giving back to the community in many different ways.

Earlier this month Trina went to a volunteer training seminar for the 2010 Olympics.  Now is a great time to get involved with the upcoming event, they still need volunteers and staff, so to get a better idea about volunteering for the 2010 Olympics I asked Trina about her experience so far:

Q: You recently took part in training for volunteering with the 2010 Olympics Winter Games. What did the day entail?
A: All of the orientation and training that I’ve participated in so far includes information and videos about the spirit of the Olympics, the values of VANOC and about how volunteers contribute to the big picture. Other than that, I can’t say much – it’s top secret! I have a position behind the scenes with the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, so for obvious reasons confidentiality is important.

Q: How did you hear about this opportunity? Why did you decide to take this position?
A: When I applied for volunteering with the 2010 Olympics and Paralympics games, I knew I wanted to use my skills and experiences in special event management. I also used to produce musical theatre productions, so contributing to the ceremonies was a natural fit.

Q: Is it a paid position?
A: Nope, this is strictly a volunteer position, though there are many tangible and intangible benefits!

Q: What was the atmosphere at the training?
A: There was a lot of buzz at the training. People each have their own motivations for being a part of the team, but I think everyone is excited to contribute to the spirit of the Games.

Q: Are you excited about this opportunity?
A: I’m super excited. I live fairly close to where I’ll be volunteering and to the athlete’s villages – I think the atmosphere is going to be electric! Though I won’t actually be able to watch the Ceremonies, I’m excited to see them afterward and hopefully witness some of my contributions.

Q: What do you hope to take or achieve from the position?
A: I do a fair amount of volunteering, but most often with small organizations and groups of people. I’m excited to be a part of something that is truly once-in-a-lifetime. I might not be a world-class athlete, but I’m proud to represent Vancouver, BC and Canada as a volunteer for the Games.

Q: What would you say to others interested in applying for a position with VANOC?
A: That it’s not too late! While most roles are filled, there might still be niche roles still available (You might want to call the Volunteer Hotline to confirm this and what the needs are – I’m not totally sure).

Also, there are non-profit organizations whose daily services (like delivering meals, driving people to appointments, etc.) will be impacted by people shifting their energy to the Olympic and Paralympics Games. If volunteering with VANOC isn’t up your alley, don’t just do nothing; find a way to contribute to your community that fits your values, your interests and your goals.

As you can tell, Trina takes volunteerism seriously and she practices what she preaches.  To get involved with the Olympics and to find VANOC volunteer and job opportunities, go to their website at  To find volunteer opportunities in your community go to Symplicity, or

By Laura Thornborough