BAIE VERTE, NL — Many adults say the person they became was formed from their young athletic days, being molded by the experience of sport and the mentors who coached them along the way.
Jeff Quigley recognizes the importance of those years in Baie Verte, donning the Sabres jersey on the ice and kicking his heart out in the pool as a Dolphin. That’s why he is giving back to his hometown community every chance he gets now.
“I had a lot of people help me throughout the years, playing the sports I was involved in,” he said. “For me, it is just being able to give back and get the young kids involved in and developing a love for the sports I enjoyed growing up.”
Quigley is the president of the Baie Verte Minor Hockey Association, within which he also coaches the Under-12 girls team, and also one of the primary coaches with the Baie Verte Dolphins swim team.
It is not as simple as just putting his name forward and giving of his time though. Quigley is the father of three children. Ellie is a 10-year-old girl, who cherishes the time she spends with her dad. Like most coaches with families, Quigley can find himself torn between that family life and helping others. However, his home life is also a little more challenging than most. He and his wife Kim have twin five-year-old sons, Ben and Will. They are autistic, something that adds to the demands of fatherhood.
Nobody should second guess if Quigley — who is also principal at St. Peter’s Academy in Westport — decided those demands were too much to volunteer his precious time. However, he believes that strongly in giving back to the community.
“All the kids need opportunities,” he said. “My daughter is involved in so much, and I like to be involved and help out where I can. Baie Verte is so small that, if people didn’t do this, it just wouldn’t go ahead.”
Juggling home life with a strenuous work life and demanding volunteer positions can be tedious at times, he acknowledges. However, he believes the rewards that come out of all three are worth it.
The father says his effort also ensures his own children have similar experiences he did.
“I want my own kids to have the same opportunities in this community that I did when I grew up,” he said.
The Town of Baie Verte will be hosting its annual Volunteer Night Thursday (April 19) at the College of the North Atlantic starting at 7 p.m. It is an event to celebrate volunteers, and the town also recognizes its Volunteer of the Year and Volunteer Group of the Year.