Deb Radolla, one of the city’s key fitness leaders, retired last Friday but doesn’t plan to settle into any easy chair.
“I will never be bored, I can guarantee that,” says Radolla, the city’s Active Living manager who plans to continue to be involved in community activities “gently volunteering here and there.”
Radolla was hired by the Cariboo Regional District in 1980 before Sam Ketcham Memorial Pool was even completed and continued her career when the City of Williams Lake took over management of the Cariboo Memorial Complex.
“I was hired as a lifeguard when I started,” Radolla says.
While her children were young she worked part-time as a lifeguard, eventually working into full-time aquatic supervisor, then into recreation program co-ordinator, and then six years ago into management, as the city’s manager of active living.
Radolla credits the team effort by the city’s recreation department for their efforts over the years in helping to get the whole community more active.
“When I think of successes I think it has been in getting the community to be more active,” Radolla says. “I can’t take the credit. It is the amazing staff I have been fortunate to work with people who supported me and came up with ideas.”
Over the years those ideas and initiatives have developed into a wide variety of activities from small children right up to seniors — exercise programs for parents and babies, pre-school dance classes, personal training instruction, low impact and advanced exercises classes, lifeguard training and numerous other skating, swimming and fitness programs.
She says the after school Rec and Roll program, Boitanio Summer Day Camp have become hugely successful.
Radolla welcomes her successor Stacey Miranda from Fort St. John who will be replacing her as the manager of active living.
“She has great experience in fitness, aquatics and management in general Radolla says.
Radolla says she always planned to retire before she was 60 and is happy to be realizing that goal. She plans to spend more time working on her own fitness level, travelling with her retired teacher husband, Pat, and spending more time with their family, which now includes two grandchildren.
“They are great,” Radolla says.
Their daughter Jennifer and son-in-law David Reedman live in Williams Lake with their children Gavin and Lilly. Their son, David, and his partner, Alecia Harms, who are both teachers, live in Vancouver.
Deb and Pat tried out travel with a month holiday in New Zealand earlier this year which they plan to share with the Williams Lake Library Armchair Travel program starting in January.
Deb also plans to continue working on her own fitness level and enjoy the outdoor sports of cross country skiing, snowshoeing, kayaking and walking that she loves.