Sports and volunteering have always been part of Judge Reg Harris’ life. He regularly competed in marathons, triathlons and trail races from a young age until injury sidelined him. Then he got involved in track and field again when two of his children began competing. Involvement in their track club seemed the best way to support them.
But cheering on the sidelines led to participation on the club’s board, and to using his judicial skills as an official. Certification as a track and field official is a multi-stage process, requiring a combination of experience and training at several levels. Since 2014 Judge Harris has accumulated many of the hours of service required for full certification, and he is near completion of the second level of training.
In 2015 he volunteered at numerous track meets including the BC Seniors Games, and often worked as race Starter or Assistant Starter. He has also assisted in the planning and management of races.
Judicial experience no doubt helped with these responsibilities. Judges must be flexible when scheduled trials don’t proceed because of unforeseen circumstances – and Judge Harris coped well when bad weather cancelled track events he had worked hard to prepare. Judges also need patience and the ability to communicate clearly. These skills helped him manage race sites, keeping athletes, cyclists and dog walkers out of one another’s way.
Judge Harris says he enjoys volunteering because of the opportunity it provides to meet people from all walks of life. He particularly enjoys seeing athletes, young and old, challenging themselves. He is proud to have passed on his volunteerism to his kids, who also volunteer when not competing. In fact, his son contributed to B.C. history when he acted as a volunteer runner in a recent provincial meet, enabling a boy with special needs to compete for the first time in that meet.