Pink Triangle Services may be getting into the sports business.
PTS is considering taking over the reins of Time Out, Ottawa’s sports and leisure organization, which is suffering from a lack of interest and participation.
The board members of Time Out – founded in 1996 – are discussing how such a handover might happen. But PTS president Bruce Bursey cautions that any talks are preliminary.
“We wouldn’t want to do it in a way that would jeopardize Time Out or PTS,” says Bursey. Any deal between the organizations would require approval by their respective boards. And Blake Proudfoot, president of Time Out, says a formal proposal – which PTS has requested – might not be presented for several months.
Proudfoot explains that Time Out is in a position similar to that of Team/Équipe Ottawa, which is suspending operations due to board vacancies and lack of interest. The Time Out board would like to pass the torch, but no candidates have come forward. After discussing options with the membership, Time Out treasurer Richard Roy suggested handing the group over to PTS.
Bursey sympathizes with Time Out’s situation. “Time Out is going through a transformation,” he says. “I think one of the biggest challenges for gay and lesbian groups is maintaining volunteers and that’s an issue that I can sympathize with. PTS is a volunteer-run organization – and we have 20 years experience so I think that’s something else that we can bring to the table.”
According to Proudfoot, the Time Out board and membership discussed the possibility of “winding up” the organization at a December potluck dinner.
“I think that the interest is there,” he says, “but no one wants to be the person responsible.”
Proudfoot says people are interested in continuing to hold social gatherings as well as having a place to check for sports and leisure information, such as a website.
“However, people want these things but they aren’t willing to come forward themselves,” Proudfoot says.
Bursey and Proudfoot note the possible advantages to the community from a PTS takeover.
“It fits within our mandate in terms of wellness,” says Bursey. “Recreation and sporting activity are an important part of overall wellness.”
PTS has the volunteer base to provide a contact person, update website information and coordinate activities for Time Out member groups, Proudfoot says.
There may also be financial advantages for PTS since they might be able to access recreational funding through the City of Ottawa.
Both men point to the recently launched virtual GLBT Community Centre – as well as the possibility of an actual centre – as an influence.
“We’re aware there was a group investigating having a bricks and mortar community centre, and obviously one of the organizations would be some sort of a sports presence,” Proudfoot says.
Similarly, Bursey notes “a recreational element” came up during the community centre’s feasibility study.
“Obviously, we’re not there yet,” he cautions, “but that’s something we would be working towards.”
Time Out’s constitution doesn’t cover procedures for a hand-over, and amendments to the constitution and dissolution of the club would require a proposal and presentation to membership within a 60-day timeframe. Ballot support by two-thirds of members would then be required at an AGM.
No dates have been set for either Time Out’s presentation to PTS or an AGM. Proudfoot is uncertain of Time Out’s membership but says they have contact information for 109 people.