O’LEARY -- Jeff Ellsworth has been hired as the first recreation director of the new Town of O’Leary.
Mayor Stanley MacDonald confirmed Ellsworth’s selection on Tuesday. He replaces Tylan Robinson who resigned in January to take a position managing the Mill River Aquaplex.
Team Canada fast pitch player and Holland College instructor Jeff Ellsworth is taking on the role as O'Leary's new recreation director.
MacDonald said the town believes Ellsworth sports and events coordination background will be a great asset for O’Leary.
Ellsworth is captain of Canada’s national men’s fast pitch team and he coached the P.E.I. team in last summer’s Under 16 Girls fast pitch tournament in O’Leary. He was also a coach this year of the O’Leary-based Western Bantam AAA Maroons hockey team.
Ellsworth will attend the O’Leary Town Council meeting this Thursday to discuss his new position and will be working part-time for O’Leary after that until his contract with Holland College ends. For the last three years he has been the instructor for the college’s Sport and Leisure Management program at its West prince Centre in Alberton.
“I’m really excited and looking forward to getting back into the industry sooner than later,” Ellsworth commented Tuesday.
Immediately after graduating from Holland College in 1997 he became recreation director for the town of Alberton, a position he held until 2008. He worked for the town of Montague for a year and has been with Holland College West Prince Centre for the last three years.
He had organized successful fundraising events there like Which Price is Right.
“I’m very familiar with the O’Leary area and the people who are in and around O’Leary,” Ellsworth said. “They have a great core group of volunteers there that I am going to be looking towards to help out with the bigger events.”
MacDonald noted O’Leary has a lighted ball field which the town will be looking to Ellsworth to help get it utilized to a greater degree.
Ellsworth said he will also focus on utilizing the soccer fields, the arena and other facilities more. He noted O’Leary used to host the Harvest Classic, the first elite hockey tournament of the year, and said he wants to bring it back.
The new recreation director will continue to play elite level ball, at least for a while.
“It’s like running the Boston Marathon: I’m in the last two kilometers of the race,” he said of his competitive ball career. He revealed he has three big events with Team Canada over the next 16 months, culminating with the Pan Am Games in Toronto in July, 2015. He said he plans to retire from competitive ball after the Pan Ams but will continue with coaching.
Ellsworth confirmed one of his main goals will be to create economic spinoffs for the O’Leary. He said Robinson did a great job of that
“Tylan did an excellent job with the Under 16s last year, so I’m going to continue to do that, plus tap into other tournaments as well,” he said.