A Summerland-raised self-described hockey guy has been hired as the new Similkameen Recreation Centre manager.
Shane Marsh officially started his duties running recreation in the Lower Similkameen Monday.
Although not completely unaware of the controversy surrounding his new job, with the abrupt retiring of former facilities manager Karl Donoghue after 27 years, and the resignation of four Similkameen Recreation Commission members, Marsh said he didn’t know too much about the situation and had the utmost respect for predecessor.
“I received an overview, but I try not get into that. I know he put in 27 years and you got to respect that. I’ve heard a lot of good things about what he did, but there’s always change,” he said during an interview with the Review on his first day.
At this point, he’s working to learn more about how the facilities operate and hoping to work with the community to bring in more programming.
“What I don’t want to see is locks on the door. I want to look out my window and see kids playing floor hockey out there. I want to see people using this. I want this place to be loud and noisy. I want to be hearing bowling and the pins being knocked down. Like, it’s quiet here right now. I want to see people using it and I want to see what was going on here before and try to move forward and look at what could be done, what went well, and what did not,” he said.
The 35-year-old comes to Keremeos on the heels of his last job in Carnduff, Sask. where he spent four years as recreation manager for the community of about 1,126 people.
“They had a rink in the winter, curling rink, ball diamonds, outdoor swimming pool, community centre, nine hole golf course. It was the middle of nowhere, you have to have everything,” he said.
Marsh said he loved Saskatchewan and the community but the desire to be closer to family brought him back to B.C.
“Family is why we came back. I loved Saskatchewan. It was good to me and my family, but I wanted to be closer to my Dad. He’s 70 years old. He’s in good health, but we want to be closer to him and other family.”
Prior to working in Carnduff, Sask., Marsh started his career in Kerrobert, Sask. He worked in the community for three years, first arriving to coach a junior B hockey team.
Marsh has played junior hockey in a variety of communities including Osoyoos where he played for one-year after graduating high school in 2001. He then went on to play junior hockey in Alberta for two years and one semester at Red Deer college before transferring to Briercrest College in Saskatchewan.
He obtained a four-year recreation leadership degree from Briercrest College.
Marsh is married and has four small children aged 9,7,5 and 3.
“I’m really excited to be here. I see so much potential, endless potential for this facility. It’s hard for me to know right now what programs the community wants but at this point you can hear crickets in here and I just want to get people in here and using it,” he said.