Halifax PLAYS only runs because of the dozens of incredible volunteers behind the scenes who give their time to make community sport accessible to all. Our volunteer spotlight will share stories of these amazing folks, and for our inaugural feature, we would like to give thanks to our outgoing President and longtime(indeed founding) Board Member, Will Musgrave, for all the energy and hard work he has given to us through the years!
Whether on the field facilitating league play or in the background helping with the back-end of our operations, Will has been an integral member of Halifax PLAYS for over a decade. He has seen our community from all angles, as a player, volunteer, board member, and past President. Indeed, you can ask almost any person in the Halifax PLAYS community, and they will have stories and endless compliments about Will’s help and influence. From driving players to the field and getting equipment to training new volunteers and dealing with our finance logistics, Will has always been one to step up when needed. As one volunteer perfectly puts it, “Will’s just an amazing guy on and off the pitch.”
And for Will, it’s been a journey as well! Initially started by close friends Shitangshu and Nikheel, Will was one of the first players to sign up for our first-ever soccer program in 2012. And truthfully, he had his doubts about the proposal for player-organized sport, sharing in an interview that he was quite skeptical about how things would work at first, until those first few Saturday soccer games. Now looking back, he reflects, “Somehow those first leagues were both fun, competitive, and laidback all at the same time – and I realized that this project would have a long-term transformative impact on our community ever since”.
Will has had his struggles as a volunteer as well, whether it’s due to booking mishaps, the occasional disciplinary issue or having to make hard game-time decisions. He often worried about disappointing players and volunteers, although those lessons learnt through organizing helped to create better programs and motivated him to co-start a youth soccer program, his most empowering experience with Halifax PLAYS. “It was amazing to see the looks on parents’ faces when we were coaching this very inexpensive program for their kids. And that we were truly inspiring kids, not just to play a sport but to have fun, stay active, and make friends.”
As Will steps away from a volunteer role with PLAYS, we wanted to know his advice for anyone looking to start volunteering, to which he shared this: “Get involved in a program that already has volunteers, because you will learn so much just by offering to lend a hand. For me, seeing others volunteering helped me to come up with goals for myself, and it’s so easy to volunteer when you’re with a group of people who have similar goals and similar ideas of where a program should go. But I also encourage new volunteers to stand by what they believe and if they want to start something brand new, Halifax PLAYS is the perfect place to bring those ideas to life, where we can refine them and make them happen.”
Will, thank you for your transformational leadership through the years and for all you’ve given PLAYS… You helped us get started as a founding member of our Board, took us to new heights as President and created unique models for delivering sport through the leagues you organized. We truly are privileged to have someone like you in our PLAYS community.
Also, a bonus: Through our partnership with Sportwheels, Will is receiving in-store credit to help up his game this summer, alongside some Man U gear to cheer on his childhood soccer club! If you see Will on the field, be sure to give him a (virtual) high five for all the hard work he has put into our organization. THANK YOU to all our incredible volunteers 🙂