By Nicholas Mercer/The Compass
At first glance, Stephanie Bourne's office does not fit her job title - manager of the 2012 Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games, being held in Harbour Grace and Carbonear this coming August.
Over her shoulder, a picture of the Queen Mother and Prince Charles oversee her work.
A Legion flag hangs in the far right corner; letters from the prime minister are pinned to the wall to the right of her desk.
Just outside her door, pictures of war veterans line the wall.
What makes it even more peculier is the location - the Royal Canadian Legion building (formerly the Bank of Nova Scotia) on Water Street in Harbour Grace.
"I've only had time to set up computer, get my phone line and put some papers on my desk," said Bourne as she sweeps her hand over her work space.
To be fair, she had only been in the office for two days when she spoke with The Compass.
"I'll be working with the executive board and all the committees that are planning the games and helping them deliver and implement the games," said Bourne. "If anything comes up, they'll be coming to me."
Of course, co-ordinating and delivering something with the magnitude of the Summer Games is no easy task.
"Right now, I'm developing a package for sponsors that'll be going out to all of the businesses locally," she said. "I'm doing some of the leg work for the committees."
The host committee is hoping to raise additional funds, beyond the $200,000 already being allotted for the Games through a grant provided by the provincial government.
Excited about job
Some of the work Bourne will be doing also includes the advising of the host committee on all matters pertaining to the Games, working with the Games chairperson to facilitate the development of policies intended to ensure everything runs smoothly, oversea office and administration matters, work with council to apply for applicable grants for staffing and infrastructure, just to name a few.
"The whole job appeals to me," she said. "I mean you're working with the community, with committees, with volunteers and it's all about the youth in the province, for the athletes."
Luckily, Bourne is not walking into the position totally blind.
A quasi-blueprint has been made available to her in the form of plans for the Summer Games held in the region in 1992 - Bourne was only five at the time.
"I can vaguely remember my sister participating, but I do remember getting into a little bit of trouble for crossing the track when I shouldn't have," she said.
With it being the 20th anniversary since the last Harbour Grace-Carbonear Summer Games, Bourne plans on taking full advantage of the files available.
"Instead of re-inventing the wheel, it is really good to have those resources," she said.
Staying ahead of things
While the games are still nine months away, Bourne knows to look at it in that light could be troublesome.
"There is a lot of work to be done before the games," she said.
It is not overly stressful, she said, so "it shouldn't be much of an issue."
"Right now, it is about setting a to do list and getting it done," said Bourne.
"There is a lot more than bringing in the athletes."
Bourne wants to ensure nothing is left until the last minute because "really, there can't be anything left to the last minute."
Looking at her list of duties, Bourne views each responsibility with the same level of enthusiasm.
"The newness is nerve wracking," said Bourne. "I'm looking forward to it."
Bourne works in St. John's with Sport NL as a provincial sport organization co-ordinator, and has been granted leave to return home and work on the Games.
"Getting to come back to Harbour Grace and Carbonear and give back to the community I grew up playing sports in was just a great opportunity for me," she said.
Bourne does not feel any added pressure at the notion of taking on such a high profile position in her home region.
"I'm putting more pressure on myself. I want to make sure things aren't just done good. I want them to be great," she said. "The games here were successful and I want to top that.
"I'm my own worst critic."
One area of concern is the recruitment of coaches for local teams
"I don't want to sound desperate, but we need coaches," Bourne said.
She believes it looks good when the host community excels at the Games, and quality coaching is vital to that.
"If you have the coaches early enough and get a start on teams, they'd have more of a chance at excelling," she said.