Sarah Routliffe has spent the past 10+ years working in recreational and community development. Sarah’s passion began when she was an undergraduate student at uOttawa completing her Bachelor of Arts: Communications Studies and minoring in Theatre Studies. During her studies, Sarah worked at Jack Purcell Recreation Association (JPRA) as an After-School Counsellor and upon graduating was moved into the position of Children’s and Youth Program Coordinator. Most recently, Sarah was hired as the new General Manager of JPRA, allowing her to incorporate her passion for recreation into her everyday work.
“A Meeting Place for the Community” Sarah describes JPRA as a pillar within the Centretown and Elgin community. Her goal is to ensure that those who visit can find something they are interested in doing and working collaboratively with the community to ensure everyone’s recreational needs are met. As such, one can often find Sarah working with clients to facilitate new and exciting ways to generate unique programming that is both accessible and affordable for the community.
Sarah sees JPRA as a place for children, youth, adults, and seniors of all backgrounds and places. As such, she takes every step to make sure that her door is open for clients, kids, and staff. Sarah’s “open-door policy” is built into her philosophy as a manager and improvement expert in the recreation field. Some of her favourite moments are when children that used to be in the After-School program apply to be an After-School Counsellor when they get older. It’s a full circle, Sarah described, seeing children take part in JPRA programming wanting to move into the recreation profession. The Future of JPRA By mobilizing others and enforcing a community-based philosophy in her everyday work, Sarah hopes to create a community centre that is safe and accessible for anyone who wants to use its services. Her main goal is to modernize JPRA (such as the most recent re-design efforts on social media and website) and to streamline all the processes, policies and procedures. Sarah hopes to increase JPRA’s visibility by online engagement, upgraded equipment, and launching new and innovative programming supported by trained and dedicated staff.
“I love the diversity and welcoming environment that we built – people from so many different places and backgrounds come through the centre every day. So many new and interesting challenges. And I strive to make sure that we offer something for everyone. Something for people to do and enjoy”