South Peace News
To say that Ramona Rollins is looking forward to serving as the Town of High Prairie’s recreation director is an understatement.
Rollins, who started June 1, brings an endless amount of energy, experience and passion to the position.
“I am very interested in hearing from the community regarding any programs or courses that they would like to have us offer,” she says.
“It would be great to hear from any course instructors in our region [to help develop recreation plans].”
Rollins comes to High Prairie with many years of experience managing both large and small groups of coworkers and dealing with stakeholders.
“I have found creative ways to motivate and encourage others and have seen many positive results with programing, staffing projects, policies and procedures,” she says.
Rollins has also developed budgets, successfully completed marketing strategies, as well as business and strategy plans, all which will be an asset in her new job.
She has worked in both the public and private sector at swimming pools, ice rinks, parks and fields, community centres and senior centres.
Rollins was born and raised in Quesnel, B.C. and was employed by the City of Quesnel for 11 years.
At 16, she began shadowing fitness instructors to grow her passion for recreation.
“I eventually became a power engineer and pool operator with business administration, and I had no idea that would all turn out to be a really great mix in municipal recreation,” she says.
“But I am sure grateful for all of the opportunities that I have been given.”
Rollins then moved to the Lower Mainland in British Columbia to further her career. For 10 years, she was employed by Canlan Ice Sports at Burnaby 8-Rinks, the City of Port Coquitlam and the GFS Group at Planet Ice.
“Yes, all at the same time!” says Rollins.
It provided her with the best highlights of her career including being the only female Zamboni and Olympia driver ever given the opportunity to install and maintain ice for men’s Olympic hockey in Vancouver in 2010.
“I drove the Olympia at Roger’s Arena during the majority of the men’s games, as well as the women’s gold medal game,” she says.
“I had the pleasure of watching both Team Canada teams win the gold medal on my ice!”
After, in September 2012, she headed to northern Alberta to help lead the newly-opened Crosslink County Sportsplex in Clairmont, where she served as general manager for six years.
But through it all, what Rollins appreciates most is seeing people having fun.
“Seeing children to adults to seniors playing, laughing and having fun,” she says.
“For many people, recreation is the only social activity that they are interested in, and I love seeing the happiness on peoples’ faces when they are enjoying our facilities.
“Health and wellness are very important to me, and the challenges ahead with getting our recreational facilities fully operational will really be a large source of gratification for me. . .”
In her spare time, Rollins enjoys the company of her animals including two dogs, three horses and a mini-horse.
“I love spending time outdoors with them, and we all enjoy trail rides and spending time by the water. I also enjoy gymkhana and I’m a fan of rodeos and pretty much anything else that has to do with horses.”