We all know that life should not revolve around work alone and taking time away from the office can be invigorating. Well, I just spent a very invigorating week being inspired by courageous and dedicated Athletes with an intellectual disability.
I have been a volunteer coach with Special Olympics for more than 15 years and believe it allows me to experience sport in its truest sense.
Special Olympics is a sport organization dedicated to providing sport opportunities to people with an intellectual disability. Often people confuse Special Olympics with the Paralympics. Although some Special Olympics Athletes have physical challenges, to be a Special Olympics Athlete you must have an intellectual disability.
Special Olympics (http://www.specialolympics.ca/) is a worldwide organization with local weekly sport programs run by local volunteers. More than 99% of Special Olympics is run by volunteers and the vast majority of its funding is through donations and fundraising with very little government funding.
Starting on February 28th the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games took place in St. Albert Alberta (http://stalbert2012.ca/en/) and I was lucky enough to be a Coach for the Ontario Alpine Ski Team.
What has struck me each time I volunteer at these week long Winter Games is the number of Volunteers who take one of their precious two weeks of holidays per year to work hard 18 hour days for 7 days straight.
As business owners and leaders we work hard but we also are able to make our own hours if we have to. I bet many of you are like me in that I don’t track how many days off I take per year. Conversely I don’t track how much time I spend on evenings and weekends doing work.
Think about how much good we currently do, and could do more given the time, resources and flexibility we are afforded due to our positions.
Whether it is you personally taking the time to commit to a worthy cause, or you allowing your staff that extra time, together we can make a significant impact on important philanthropic issues that constantly surround us.
I returned from the weeklong trip to the National Games on Sunday evening and showed up to work Monday morning looking tired and with a wind burned face. Inside I was rejuvenated and proud of my ability to take time away from the office to make a positive impact on something that I feel very strongly about, sport and helping those who otherwise might not be able to help themselves.
The whole Special Olympics Ontario Alpine Team
Dennis from Ontario racing down the Super G course at Marmot Basin
Medal presentations for the Mens M2 division Slalom final. Larry from Alberta Gold, Ben from Ontario Silver, Stephen from Ontario Bronze.
Ian Pavlik, President of pavliks.com, is a member of TEC 367 with Chair Brian Brennan