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Iavor Perduhov & Harvie Haggerty

4/24/20

by: Bill Potrecz, BP Sports Niagara

Honouring Our Volunteers : Iavor Perduhov & Harvie Hagerty

Without volunteers, the Canada Games wouldn’t be possible. Since the first Games took place in Quebec City back in 1967, over 100,000 individuals, whether professionals or not, have volunteered their time to help out in all facets of the Games, and they have done so with great pride. The Niagara 2021 Canada Games Host Society is very proud to continue that tradition of working with passionate volunteers, and is looking forward to welcoming over 4,000 for the Games in August 2021. In honour of National Volunteer Week, we are featuring our leadership team of volunteers, who have been with us since the beginning!

Ensuring events run as smoothly as possible during the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games will be largely dependent on the efforts by two critical volunteer positions.

As Fit-out Chair, Iavor Perduhov will be responsible for all infrastructure and signage at the venues. While Harvie Hagerty, who is the Venues Chair, will see to it that everything away from the field of play is taken care of.

As Canada celebrates National Volunteer Week from April 1925, the 2021 Canada Games Host Society continues to salute its leadership volunteers. Today, highlighting both Perduhov and Hagerty.

Perduhov is one of the youngest chairs with the 2021 Canada Summer Games and also one of the most enthusiastic.

The 34-year-old Bulgarian native came to Canada 17 years ago and quickly fell in love with Niagara.

“I’ve been in this community since 2003 and been involved in several different events and gotten to meet several people,” said  Perduhov. “I was approached by one of the staff at [Niagara] 2021. I thought immediately it would be an amazing opportunity to be part of a phenomenal experience coming to the region so I jumped on [it].”

Perduhov, who is the retail manager for the Pen Centre, is responsible for all infrastructure and signage.

“We’ve been quite busy,” Perduhov said. “We’re in meetings twice a month and I work with the [Niagara] 2021 staff on an almost daily basis.

“It’s been fantastic. It’s been a very fast-paced and exciting experience. I work with professionals and I feel very fortunate to be involved in the Games.”

Perduhov’s position is to work with the leads — 18 so far — for each venue and ensure everything runs smoothly.

“My main responsibility is to recruit leads for each venue,” he said. “My responsibility has been to work with my staff and train them and get them on board with the mission, vision and values of the Games. I’m beginning to walk them through what the venues are supposed to look like and how to read and understand drawings. And how to begin to [put] input into what they think is needed at each venue for the sports to be successful.

“I facilitate the meetings and make sure I clear out any landmines or obstacles in their path.”

Perduhov says so far, so good.

“I am very, very fortunate. It has been extremely manageable. Maybe because I enjoy it so much and maybe because the people I work with have been, it sounds cliche, but amazing individuals. It’s been a walk in the park. When you enjoy something it does not seem like work. It’s a breeze.”

Perduhov, who has degrees from Brock in philosophy and political science, is passionate about Niagara.

“I think [the 2021 Games are] going to be transformational,” he said. “I think it’s going to bring all the communities in Niagara together as one strong united Niagara. I think it’s going to leave a legacy of sport and infrastructure that is going to be beneficial for the community.

“Even though Niagara Falls puts us on the map, these are going to put us on the map even further by showcasing the beauty and location of our region, and the quality of people that live and play here.”

Speaking of playing, sport has been a huge part of Harvie Hagerty’s life.

The long-time retired educator coached various teams in a number of sports over the years and still keeps busy as an athletic convenor for the Niagara Regional High School Athletic Association.

“The value of sport, it teaches so much about life. Sport doesn’t build character, it reveals character,” Hagerty said. “It helps make a well-rounded individual participate and follow the plan and work with other people to get better.

“The value of practice and perseverance. I think it’s just qualities we can transfer to life, that’s what sport brings.”

Hagerty has taken on another position in the world of sport as the Venues Chair for the 2021 Canada Summer Games.

“I had an opportunity to join in this position and applied for it,” Hagerty said. “It’s a tremendous amount of work.”

Hagerty and his crew will be responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly at the venues.

“My job is to [work] with functional area leads,” he said. “On the field of play as venue lead, I’m looking at everything other than the field of play. I have to know where the press goes, where the TV people go, what entrance do the athletes come in, where are the medical people. My job is to help them, to oversee it.”

Hagerty was part of a Niagara bid in 2000 for the 2001 Canada Summer Games, which were ultimately awarded to London, Ont.

“I want to finish what we started. A lot of people did a ton of work in the early submission and we came so close. I have an opportunity now to be part of an organization that not only will create its own legacy, but it will also close the door on what those guys did.

“Part of my interest is to finish off what we started and the other part is to see the legacy completed. Part of what motivates me is just to give back.”

Hagerty feels the Games go beyond just the athletic competitions.

“When you think of the infrastructure and the opportunity [Niagara 2021] will bring to businesses and jobs and that sort of thing, the legacy that’s left is really the most important.”

This report was filed by BP Sports Niagara, which is owned and operated by Bernie Puchalski and Bill Potrecz.

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